Aussie boxer’s path from make-up artist to boxing trailblazer

Aussie boxer’s path from make-up artist to boxing trailblazer

Whether she’s changing people’s looks or changing the way people look at her, Tina Rahimi can’t stop from getting in people’s faces.

It started when Rahimi used to make a living enhancing women’s facial features in her former job as a make-up artist.

“I just like making people look beautiful,” she said.

“I always look at someone and think I can enhance their features a certain way. I loved doing that and making other females look and feel great when they’re going to a wedding or to an occasion.”

But now, as a boxer going for gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Rahimi has taken to rearranging people’s faces – in a far less subtle way.

She’s got a knack for it too, reaching the semi finals of the women’s featherweight division in Birmingham, where she will fight Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba on Sunday morning.

“I came here for the gold and I’m going to do everything in there to make sure I get that,” Rahimi said.

“I know all the athletes in my division are amazing but I’m going to give it my best.”

Rahimi isn’t just fighting for herself, she has a greater cause. As Australia’s first female Muslim boxer, who wears a hijab in all her bouts, she’s hoping to show other young Muslim girls, they can play sport and respect their faith.

“I know that now that I’m a role model, and an inspiration, specially to the Muslim females out there,” she said. “I’m showing them that you can do anything in the hijab to follow your dreams. It’s important to show them that to go outside and be active.

“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable going out there in the hijab. They feel like they don’t want to play sports or anything because people are going to look at them funny or how they dress.

“Now they see me on a public stage doing what I love and participating in sport and showing them that anything is possible and who really cares what people think of you.”

Rahimi is one of five Aussie boxers already guaranteed to win medals in Birmingham after advancing to the semi-finals.

Kaye Scott, a retained dancer who won a bronze medal in welterweight at the last Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018, is through to the light middleweight semis against Alcinda Panguana of Mozambique.

At 38, she’s hinted this will be her last Commonwealth Games so she wants to gout a winner.

“I’m an old girl – but I’m still beating all the young ones and getting the top spot so it’s another kind of stereotype I’m trying to break,” she said.

Caitlin Parker, the silver medallist in middleweight at the Gold Coast, is also through to the last four in her division, where she faces Tammara Thibeault of Canada.

Australia has two men through to the medal rounds.

Teenage middleweight Callum Peters has been very impressive so far and will fight South Africa’s Simnikwe Bongco – unfazed that he’s one of the youngest fighters at the Games.

“Young and handsome, you mean!” he told reporters. “This is an amazing opportunity and I want to make it count. I’m looking for gold.”

Australian heavyweight Edgardo Coumi tackles Lewis Hamilton of England, knowing his opponent will have the crowd support.

Australian boxers through to Commonwealth Games semi-finals

Originally published as Commonwealth Games 2022: Tina Rahimi one of five Aussie boxers guaranteed to win medals

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