How Team GB's Lauren Price went from taxi ranks to Olympic hopeful

Lauren Price is part of the Team GB boxing team after securing qualification in Paris. Despite competing in multiple different sports and winning several golds, attending the Olympics is the "dream" for Price.
By Courtney Hill

It's been a long road for Lauren Price.

When she was just three days old, she was taken in by her grandparents, Derek and Linda.

The two raised Price as their own and 'watched proudly' from their home in South Wales as she went on to conquer opponents across the world.

Now 26, the middleweight boxing world champion has secured her place on the plane to Tokyo after a win at the European Qualifiers in Paris, beating Ukraine's Anastasiia Chernokolenko.

"I've always said that going to the Olympics is for me but it's [also] a massive thank you to them," she told BBC.

"They drive me to go and achieve."

Price is part of Team GB boxing, and her journey to the Olympics has been something to be proud of for her and the grandparents that raised her.

After losing her grandfather in late 2020, winning gold at the Olympics means that little bit more for Price, admitting that he would have been there to see her compete last year had the games not been postponed.

A sports mad childhood

While boxing may hold the key to Lauren Price's heart, it hasn't been the only sport that she has excelled in throughout her life.

Being a 'hyperactive kid', as her grandmother described her, meant Price had a lot of energy to burn and needed something to 'calm her down' a little.

Both kickboxing and football were the first sports that Price immersed herself in, and the two presented very possible career prospects as she found success with each.

In football, the Welsh international won the league with Cardiff City in the inaugural season of the Welsh Premier Women's Football League during the 12/13 season, being named is the club's Player of the Year. She also represented Wales on an international stage, making her debut in 2012.

Kickboxing had an even richer turn of fortunes for Price.

In 2007 she won silver at the Athens World Championships at just 13, before going onto the British Championships as the youngest athlete ever to compete for GB.

Price would eventually become a four-time World Champion and six-time European Champion in kickboxing, largely attributing some of her footballing skills to her kickboxing abilities.

Ultimately, a decision had to be made as to what sport Price wanted to commit as she looked towards her future, and after watching Nicola Adams win gold at London 2012, the answer was clear: boxing.

From part-time jobs to full-time competitor

Women's football has changed exponentially over the years, but it's sustainability as a long-term career option just wasn't viable back when Price played, and that reflected in her needing to work part-time jobs alongside it to make a living.

"[So] the only other option I had was to work for a taxi company on a Friday and Saturday night, but they were long hours," she told Wales Online.

"In the end, you could tell it was catching up with me because I was training through the week and working through the nights just to have money."

Making the decision to pursue boxing full-time was a game changer for Price and allowed her to dedicate her time to becoming the world beater she is today.

Securing her place on Team GB in 2017 meant that as well as having the freedom and security to train or compete, she also had the highest quality equipment and facilities at her disposal to take her game to the next level.

Price's first appearances in the European Championships was in the welterweight category where she won a bronze medal. 2016 and 2018 would bring two further bronze medals, this time in middleweight.

Despite clinching one more bronze medal in 2018 at the New Delhi World Championships, Price finally started seeing gold from then on.

At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Price won her very first gold medal in boxing - a significant improvement on her 2014 bronze in Glasgow.

The big one came in 2019, when she went into the Ulan-Ude World Championships on the back of winning gold at the European Games in Minsk.

A dramatic final against Dutch fighter Nouchka Fontjn saw her opponent crowned as the winner to begin with, but a successful appeal resulted in the decision being overturned and Price crowned as a World Champion.

Her gold rush continued when she secured yet another first placed medal in the European Qualifiers, cementing her place on the Team GB boxing team for Tokyo 2020.

Lauren Price: Olympics is my "dream"

Having successfully qualified, Price aims to live out the dream she has had since she was eight years old.

Still an amateur boxer, preparations are clouded by questions around Price's future and whether or not she will turn professional, but she insists that her mind is firmly on the Olympics and not beyond it.

"I've had a few people get in touch [...] and ask what my plans are, but I have just said that my only focus is on Tokyo," she told Olympics.com.

"Going to the Olympics is a dream of mine since I was eight.

"That is all I am focusing on."

And while Price will be turning her attention to ensuring her dream is lived to the fullest, it all comes back to the people who have supported her most, looking forward to going home before jetting off to Tokyo.

"[I've] been away for about four weeks, so it'll be nice to go home and see my nan and my family."

Although no family will be there in Tokyo to cheer her on, Price knows that she'll be going into the biggest competition of her life with her grandfather 'looking down' on her.