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Olympic gold medal boxer Nicola Adams retires

The first woman to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the ring steps down due to irreversible eye damage.

Boxing - Olympics: Day 15
Nicola Adams celebrates upon winning the second of her back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

One of the greatest fighters in the history of Olympic Boxing is hanging up her gloves for good.

Earlier today, British boxer Nicola Adams posted a tweet announcing her retirement from the sport. And as such a dramatic piece of news could not be contained in 280 characters, Adams added a copy of a letter she sent to her hometown Yorkshire Evening Post explaining her decision.

Adams, who is openly bisexual, is most famous for winning consecutive gold medals in Women’s Flyweight Boxing at the London Olympics in 2012 and the Rio Games in 2016. In doing so, she became the first female boxer in history to successfully defend an Olympic gold and the first British fighter of any gender to do so since Harry Mallin in 1932.

For this achievement, she was named Outsports Female Athlete of the Year in 2016.

A competitive boxer since the age of 12, Adams sometimes had to endure waiting years between opponents as well as a back injury early on in her career. Despite these travails, Adams was eventually rewarded for her perseverance with the opportunity to make Olympic history.

After earning her gold medals, she further cemented her status in the sport by becoming the WBO World Flyweight Champion on July 30th of this year when her opponent Arely Mucino was unable to defend the title due to injury. Unfortunately, Adams’s own reign was also cut short due to damage she had suffered in the ring as well.

Boxing at The Royal Albert Hall
Adams celebrates retaining her WBO Championship over Maria Salinas.
Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

As Adams recently revealed, she tore a pupil in what turned out to be the last fight of her career against Maria Salinas. She further elaborated on twitter that “I’ve been advised that any further impact to my eye would most likely lead to irreparable damage and permanent vision loss.”

Rather than risk partial blindness, Adams decided to retire, leaving behind an historic legacy in the sport. As she reflected back on the beginnings of her career, Adams recalled that she “wanted to make Leeds, Yorkshire, and the people of Great Britain proud and pave the way for a new generation of female fighters.”

In every goal she set out to achieve, her life in the ring has been an astounding success.