Team USA Boxing Trains at NMU


The U.S. Olympic boxing team made a stop in Marquette en route to the Summer Games in Athens. The athletes are in the midst of a 10-day training camp at the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC) on Northern’s campus.


“These guys are America ’s best boxers; this team is the cream of the crop,” said Al Mitchell, technical assistant for Team USA . “What we are doing at this training camp is concentrating on fine-tuning each athlete’s technical skills. With the speed they've got, they’re going to surprise a lot of people. I guarantee you that in five years, every one of them is going to be a superstar."


Mitchell has been the USOEC head coach for the past 15 years. He served as the head coach of Team USA for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games when David Reid won a gold medal. This time he is assisting head coach Basheer Abdullah with a new crop of nine contenders. Team captain Ron Siler, a 112-pound light flyweight from Cincinnati, said training in Marquette offers some advantages.


“You can be more focused here because you don’t know anyone and there aren’t as many distractions,” he said. “We have a great coaching staff and Al is working with me on the technical drills – speed and footwork and things like that. We are working as a team, motivating each other.”


The week of training at the USOEC will help prepare Team USA for the Titan Games being held in Atlanta, June 17-19. That competition will be the last time the team is together as a whole before the Olympics.



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Updated: June 14, 2004