U.S. Olympic boxing team captain Jamel Herring lost his light welterweight bout yesterday, but it's not the first setback he's faced — and he says he won't let his team lose its momentum in the London Olympics because of his defeat.
As the AP reports:
"After surviving two tours in Iraq and returning to boxing after the sudden death of his infant daughter in her crib three years ago, Herring knows a bit about composure and focus."
Herring, 26, is a sergeant in the Marine Corps, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C. At the London Games, he lost to Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan, after falling behind early in their bout and not being able to score enough points in his comeback attempt.
The first-round exit obviously disappointed Herring. But, he told the AP that he wanted to help his team excel: "You've got to keep them uplifted," he said. "I don't want anyone to feel down."
And that sentiment is what brought Herring's story to our attention a day after his exit from Olympic competition. Because in the past, Herring has both lost — and won — a lot.
The Home Post, NPR member station KPBS's blog devoted to the military, reports that, "According to the Department of Defense, Herring has previously won [a] silver medal at the 2010 World Military Games, was 2011 Armed Forces Champion, the 2012 USA Boxing National Champion, and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion.
"I've been through a lot of ups and downs, and I'm proud of my accomplishments," Herring told the AP. "I'm proud of how far I've come. I went out there, fought to the best of my abilities, listened to my coaches and did everything I possibly could, but the best man won today."
Herring was reportedly the first active-duty Marine to make the U.S. Olympic boxing team since 1992, according to Home Post.