SAN DIEGO — We first met Danyelle Wolf about 10 years ago, when the Pacific Beach resident embarked on a boxing career.
After narrowly missing a spot on the Olympic team in 2016, she left the sport and turned to mixed martial arts. But a big turn of events got her back in the ring.
“Five weeks isn’t a lot of time to prepare for an Olympic trial qualification, and it was a lot of work,” said Wolf, a three-time Team USA national boxing champion.
But Wolf loves a tough challenge and that’s why she won her U.S. Olympic qualifying event in Las Vegas in March, winning all three bouts.
“I’ve always been a really well-rounded athlete and I think that’s why I’m able to pick everything up so quickly. I’m able to take four years off of boxing and do MMA on the ground and wrestling, and come right back in five weeks and be able to win the Olympic trial qualifications first round,” Wolf said.
After missing out on the 2016 Olympics, Wolf left boxing and started MMA fighting. When the Olympic committee added her 152-pound weight class for the 2020 games, the 35-year-old readily jumped back in the ring.
“Now is my time,” she said. “It’s a little bit longer than what I expected. I thought I would be going after it in 2016, but now that it’s added in 2020, I have to do it.”
Wolf won three national championships with Team USA but says she has unfinished business.
“There’s not anyone that can say they were on Team USA and in the Olympic games,” Wolf said. “I’ve already done the Team USA thing. Now I want to be able to say I was in the Olympic games.”
The final stage of the Team USA Olympic trials comes in December, when Wolf will have to beat out seven other women to earn a spot on the Olympic team.
“I’m just so excited,” Wolf sid. “I’ve wanted to have the platform to be a good role model and to push female boxing and female fighting in general, and that would be my ultimate goal.”
It’s another challenge she looks forward to.