On Friday November 20th, 2015, within the confines of a 60 square metre ring, Australian featherweight boxer Skye Nicolson was preparing for her greatest fight to date – a spot on the Rio Australian team.
After years of gruelling preparation, she stepped in the ring to face her bout against Glasgow's 2014 gold medalist, Shelley Watts. Her battle lasted 540 seconds, and she fought for every moment, but the fight was not called in her favour and just like that her dream was over.
"I truly believed I'd done everything I could to win that spot and try to qualify for the Olympics. It was a hard loss to take because I thought I won the fight, everyone else thought I won the fight and I had convinced myself that I was going to Rio before it happened."
"I did everything I could but fell short, and just like that my Olympic dream was over."
This moment fuelled Skye's fighting spirit and was a driving force for her to work hard and make a name for herself within women's boxing.
"I learnt early on if I want to be the best, I have to put that hard work in and I have to outwork everyone else."
"It cannot be talent alone, and it can't be hard work alone – you have to have both. I am blessed to have the talent. So, I'm going to use that to my advantage and work hard."
One hundred and forty fights later, a Commonwealth Games gold medal, a World Championship bronze medal and a spot on the Australian boxing team under her belt and her fearless fighting spirit is stronger than ever.
"The Rio qualifying loss definitely made me a more resilient athlete and made me stronger. I realised how bad I want the Olympic dream and it helped push me as far as it has with the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and now Tokyo Olympics."
So, what is next for Skye Nicolson? She wants to rewrite Australian boxing history at the upcoming games.
"We have not had a boxing medal in over 30 years, and we've never had a gold medal. As Australians we're going in as underdogs, and we aren't really expected to do well at the Olympics. So, that's what I want to change, and I've got tunnel vision for gold."
From the Australian Boomers vying to rewrite Australian basketball, to 800m athlete Morgan Mitchell striving to beat the Australian record and our 60,000 customers who are all chasing their own version of the Aussie dream, Signet is proud to support Aussie dreams since 1968.
We sat down with Skye in the lead-up to the games and spoke about a day in the life of an Australian boxer.