Canadian middleweight boxer Tammara Thibeault has her first Olympic bout tonight.
That's got to be an anxious time for many boxers, but for the slick southpaw, stepping into the ring is usually kind of a zen experience. Just before the opening bell — no matter what her opponent is up to — Tammara finds herself calm, focused and aware of the task at hand.
When people call it the sweet science that's usually a euphemism, but not Thibeault. She's a fan of what she calls "pretty boxing." She's a mover, a technical fighter armed with a wicked jab. There's a dance happening when she's on her game.
Of course, it takes two to tangle, and tonight's dance card has Tammara facing Nadezhda Ryabets of the mighty Kazakhstan boxing team.
But as the 24-year-old from Saint-Georges, Que., tells Anastasia Bucsis, she does her homework before every bout. She knows who she's up against, she's got a battle plan and a realistic outlook.
"It's not tennis, right?," Thibeault says, pausing to smile before delivering the closer. "Somebody's going to get beaten up."
Player's Own Voice will be working straight through the Tokyo Olympics, dropping episodes every day or two. These are friendly, intimate conversations with athletes at the pinnacle of their careers.
You can also read Tamm's own writing about her family as part of the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series. The writing, like the podcast, allows athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective.
To listen to the entire fourth season of POV podcast, subscribe for free on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you do your other podcast listening.