OLATHE, Kan. -- It's more than a Christmas wish come true; for one boxer from the metro, a lifetime of hard work has paid off, and he's going to the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games.
Nothing compares to this feeling. One can hardly blame Kansas City, Kansas' Cam F. Awesome for feeling that excited, after a weekend that saw him beat three of the top eight Olympic boxers in his weight class, and qualifying for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Awesome just got back to Kansas City on Sunday, and his workout regimen hasn't missed a beat. That's the kind of dedication that shone through this weekend in Reno, Nev., at the Olympic trials. Awesome, 27, won a double-elimination tournament to advance to the U.S. National team, beating the likes of DeRae Crane and Josh Temple, the world’s top-ranked Olympic heavyweight, along the way.
“Nothing can compare to this. I don't know what having a kid is like, but I would assume this is so much better because I won't have to change any diapers,” Awesome laughed.
The success hasn't come easily. The New York native, who now calls Wyandotte County home, has worked with trainer Grant Bradshaw at for the past year. Sweating out more than 40 points dropped him from super heavyweight into the heavyweight class, where fellow fighters are more of his size at 201 pounds.
“Only a very small percentage can do it,” Bradshaw said, during one of Awesome’s workouts at Grant’s Fitness in Olathe. “You've got thousands of people around the United States of America who could potentially get there, but for them to take only one in each weight class, that's hard. It's a big deal.”
“I feel great. I feel sharp. I feel strong,” Awesome said.
“I believe I have the experience, and the style and the work ethic to do it -- to become number one in the world.”
Local support isn't lost on Awesome either. He's spent time in the Golden Gloves ranks here in the metro, and he's followed the career of local boxers, such as the great Tommy Morrison. Awesome told FOX 4 News he couldn't do it without Kansas City's support.
A spokesperson for USA Boxing tells FOX 4 News that Awesome still has to qualify internationally, but that's something of a formality, traditionally speaking. Awesome says he's expected to attend workouts at the Olympic Training Headquarters in Colorado Springs next month.