Photo: Boxer Gabriel Williams throws punch

Boxing Club founder Gabriel Williams ’23 shows his fighting spirit in and out of the ring

NORWICH RECORD | Spring 2022

When you go into the ring or you go into training, the only person that’s pushing you is yourself,” says Gabriel Williams ’23. Drive is never in short supply for the political science major from Suffolk, Va. Williams served as a U.S. State Department intern last year and has nearly a decade of karate and kung fu training under his belt. He first began to box three years ago. Part of the appeal, he explains, is the mental grit, dedication, and accountability boxing demands—to say nothing of the cerebral aspects of the sport, which he compares to chess. Success in the ring requires anticipating your opponent and thinking many moves ahead. “If you’re not actively pushing yourself to the maximum limit, you’re letting yourself down ultimately,” he says. “Because I guarantee you, your opponent is doing those very things.” Williams loves to share as much as he loves to learn. Which is why he and a number of fellow undergraduates recently launched a new Boxing Club on campus, the first step toward establishing a formal combatives program at Norwich. “It’s given me a way to serve this institution and be a part of something that’s greater than myself,” he says, noting his confidence that the club will endure. “When I come back for Alumni Weekend, they’ll still be here.”

—Sean Markey

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