Featured image Jay Fulmore (Grace Fahnbulleh)

Liberian female boxer Grace Fahnbulleh has started her journey to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The 29-year-old light flyweight fighter was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and currently resides in Moncton New Brunswick, Canada. She was introduced to boxing in 2016 and recently won a silver medal at the Canadian National Boxing Championships.

On Sept. 10, Fahnbulleh competed in the Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifier in Dakar, Senegal. Fahnbulleh went up against Cameroonian boxer Laure Ngoune, and lost the women’s 50kg match. She did not advance to the quarter finals.

“[My performance] could’ve been a lot better,” Fahnbulleh told Go Team Liberia, in a post-match interview. When asked about her plans for the next qualifier, Fahnbulleh said, “It’s just to really listen to my coach and execute the plan more … stay focused more in the ring and not listen to the outside noise.”

Fahnbulleh’s sports journey

Her sports journey started on the University of Winnipeg’s college basketball team. She joined her school’s boxing club to stay in shape between seasons, and the rest is history.

Fahnbulleh moved to Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada, when she was 12 years old. Before that, she said she spent the majority of her childhood on a refugee camp with her mom and six siblings in Nigeria — escaping the conflict in Liberia.

“It was not an easy experience,” she recalled. “It’s not an experience I would wish on anyone, to be in a refugee camp for so long at a very young age…but I do have very fond memories.” Fahnbulleh shared that she grew up surrounded with other Liberians, Nigerians, Sudanese and Sierra Leonians. Her mother, who passed away in 2016, owned a salon in the refugee camp and was active in the church and community.

The next steps for Fahnbulleh

The Liberian female boxer has set out to qualify to represent her birth country in Paris and be a model for other Liberian women and girls. “I pray that God can use me to be something for young girls and women back home … to help our country grow because we deserve everything good just like every other country out there.”

According to the Olympic website, boxers who want to compete at the 2024 Olympics have two more opportunities to qualify. The last two world qualification tournaments will be held next year in Busto Arzizio, Italy, from  Feb. 29 to March 12 and Bangkok, Thailand, from May 23 to June 3.