COLORADO SPRINGS — It's a scene out of a classic boxing movie, a humble exterior giving way to America's heart and soul just through their doors.
"It's great to be back in an actual ring, training, sparring with everything going on," Team USA bantamweight boxer Andrea Medina said.
Needing a place to hit the ring with the Olympic Training Center still in its COVID-19 protocols, Team USA boxing took a creative jab, turning the former Macy's at the Citadel Mall into their new headquarters.
"It looks good, it looks OK, it's doing the business for us," Team USA Boxing coach Billy Walsh said. "We have rings, we have bags, we've got floor space, that's all we need. All we need is the integrity, drive, and spirit of the athletes to give us the quality in training."
"First I didn't know what to expect, once we got in there, the rings and strength and conditioning setup, it's a nice setup," Team USA lightweight boxer Charlie Sheehy said.
A year after the pandemic knocked out their goals, the nation's best have returned to Colorado Springs. The talented fighters are now six months out of realizing their dream to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
"I never lost my motivation because most of us have been dreaming about this since we were 8 or 9 years old," Sheehy said. "This is like a dream come true."
With Tokyo 2020 still on schedule, there has been newfound life and hope for these talented athletes of the Red, White, and Blue. Along with their new home away from home.
"We can cry, whine and moan, say we don't have this or we don't have that," Walsh said. "Or we can make the best of what we got and at the end of the day it's about the effort we put in."
"We're ready, focused, and training to beat everyone in the world," Medina said. "We're coming."
Qualifying for the games is set to take place in May of this year with the Olympic competition beginning in late July.