Kiwa King representing more than just Australia at Buenos Aires 2018
10 July 2018
BUENOS AIRES 2018: Seventeen-year-old boxer, Kiwa King has been selected to represent Australia at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
For any athlete, the road to representing your country is long and hard but for this Queensland teenager, the personal obstacles he has overcome to get here makes his selection even more inspiring.
King’s boxing coach is his uncle Allan Nicolson (Jr). His sister Skye Nicolson, is a 2018 Commonwealth Games boxing gold medallist.
Growing up as a foster child, King was shuffled between ten families before he found a place to call home. When he was nine, he was lucky enough to not only gain a family with the Nicolson’s but with the boxing community at the Albert Boxing Club.
Before the young Queenslander was adopted, Allan Nicolson (Sr) and his wife Pat had two sons, Jamie, a number one world ranked boxer, Barcelona 1992 Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and his ten-year old brother, Gavin. Both sons tragically passed away in a car accident in 1994. Skye was born the following year, and later, the Nicolson’s decided to start fostering.
Training through the Albert Boxing Club which the Nicolson’s founded in the late 1980’s, Kiwa was surrounded by the best in the industry. But he also brings a sense of determination that cannot be taught and may be give him the winning edge.
“I’m probably the most experienced youth in Australia, so I think that experience and my determination gives me an edge over my opponents,” he said.
“I can be calm under pressure, whether it be inside or out of the ring and I'm always looking for ways to go that extra mile for the win.”
From humble beginnings, the now four-time Junior National gold medallist travels the world honing his craft and building relationships, which he says is one of the best parts of competing.
“I’ve travelled to many countries to compete and have made countless friends. The experiences you have along the way are ones that you remember forever.
“Attending events like the Youth Olympic Games and other international competitions creates strong bonds with your fellow athletes. We look out for each other like one big family.”
For someone who has sparred with the likes of the legendary Jeff Horne, you would expect King’s role model to be someone in the realm of Muhammad Ali, but he says his biggest motivators are the kids he trains with at his club.
“Seeing their determination, day in and day out gives me so much motivation to make them proud and act as a positive role model for them.”
When asked what advice he would give to kids growing up facing similar circumstances to what he did, King said,
“There is always opportunity to make a good life for yourself. You just need to find something to invest yourself in and be determined enough to follow that path all the way.”
Through the support of his family, combined with his inspirational intestinal fortitude, King has come full-circle, now acting as a role model for young kids who dare to dream of greatness, no matter where they come from.