Chula Vista boxer punching her way to 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Chula Vista's Andrea Medina could earn a spot in the 2020 Olympics by the end of next week. The 20-year-old will travel to Lake Charles, Louisiana to compete in the Olympic trials for boxing.

Medina's dream of becoming an olympic boxer stands within striking distance.

"I always knew that I could do it but now that it's actually here, it's a lot," Medina said. "I'm not going to lie to you, it's a little overwhelming. Sometimes I don't even know what I did but right now it's like I'm here and I'm gonna do it."

Medina took gold at the western elite qualifiers in March, which earned the 16-time national champion the chance to attend the U.S. Olympic trials for boxing, a double elimination tournament held in Lake Charles.

At five-foot-six, Medina plans to compete in the 125-pound weight class.

"It's like my craft," Medina said. "I eat, sleep, everything boxing. My whole life is around boxing and I feel like I've given it my all and it's returning the favor for me. I'm being successful and my 16-time national championships ... that was all hard work."

Medina says she has dreamt of becoming an olympian since she began boxing at five years old, opting out of karate for something more physical.

"My mom thought, 'oh, she's not going to like it when she gets hit' but after a few months they put me in to spar with some boys and I got hit and I loved it and just wanted to keep doing it," she said.

When Medina's not punching the bag, she's hitting the books. The criminal justice major is a full-time online student at San Diego State University.

Medina says she hopes her hard work and success in the ring will inspire other women.

"Now there are a lot more girls in amateur boxing and the women's pro boxing is coming up now," Medina said. "So I just feel like telling them to keep trying for what they want, keep striving for what they want and work hard, stay focused and sacrifice and you can do it."

Medina will begin competing Monday, Dec. 9.

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