The Provocative Pugilist Olivia Meyer

With two championships under her belt and a string of broken records to her name, Meyer is looking to the future.

Interview by Lindsey Davis, Iowa State University


Though she had never boxed before, Iowa State super senior Olivia Meyer thought she’d join the university’s boxing club just for fun.

At the time, Meyer had no idea that she’d go on to become an undefeated, two-time National Collegiate Boxing Association female champion. As graduation begins to creep on her, Meyer looks forward to new adventures and ways to keep the sport of boxing in her life.

I’m a homebody.

Music is probably my favorite pastime. It’s a nice outlet.

I would like to become a nurse practitioner.

I really like cooking. I’m currently working under an Italian chef. There’s a lot of Italian influence in my cooking.

I’ll sit in there for four hours and just write.

I play a lot of instruments.

I’m working mostly with the harmonica and the saxophone right now.

I would really like to have one of those cool stories, but I don’t.

Most of the time, guys say, “Yeah, I don’t care let’s go,” and they’ll give their best effort.

I’ve never seen a Rocky film ever in my life. I don’t actually like watching boxing movies.

I was a little bit introverted when I was younger, so it was more difficult for me to get out of my comfort zone. But I knew I needed to put myself out there.

We went to a couple amateur competitions and I liked it, so I continued to do boxing.

I was in the gym every single day, six to seven days a week for two to four hours. I put in work.

It was mostly a male gym at that point.

Everyone looks a little loosey goosey in their first fight.

It’s hard for females to find fights. I think that’s the biggest issue.

When I train, I do box with 90 percent males.

A lot of people think, “Oh, males can’t hit females.” I believe that’s the general consensus.

If they don’t want to spar me, they’re not going to give their best effort in there, so what would be the point of me going in if they’re not going to try very hard?

It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw the footage and I threw it away.

I’m working on another project with boxing. If you develop a skill, sharing is caring. You want to let others enjoy it as much as you have.

I think my competition days are over.

I’ve had my fill, and I would like other people to be in my position and experience what I have.

I had been given a rosary that had been blessed by the Pope from my grandmother. Before every match I would pray the rosary.

We are trying to implement a boxing program for Parkinson’s disease patients.

Boxing has a lot of negative connotations to it.

I really like working with younger kids, because they soak up everything.

If it’s too much for me, or too much for them, we are comfortable enough to communicate and say “Stop,” or “Hey, calm down.”

I would like to develop a youth boxing program for kids in difficult situations just as an outlet.

My grandparents meant a lot to me. They were very religious.

Right before the match, our coach would huddle us up and say a prayer.

I go day-by-day. If an opportunity arises, I’ll take it.

I hate emotional situations, so if something is bothering me I’ll probably be laughing hysterically. I’m really bad at that.

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