Family tragedy behind Aussie's 'hard to watch' Olympic heartbreak

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Skye Nicolson was inconsolable after losing her boxing quarter-final in heartbreaking circumstances. Pic: Ch7/AAP
Skye Nicolson was inconsolable after losing her boxing quarter-final in heartbreaking circumstances. Pic: Ch7/AAP

The only thing more devastating than Skye Nicolson's reaction to her Olympic Games heartbreak in Tokyo on Wednesday, is the Aussie boxer's tragic backstory.

Nicolson fell to the floor in despair after being denied Australia's first Olympic boxing medal since 1988 in a gutting quarter-final loss in Tokyo.

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It was a heartbreaking end to Nicolson's campaign, the Queenslander fighting for late brothers Jamie - a 1992 Olympian - and Gavin, who tragically died in a car accident while en route to boxing training in 1994, a year before she was born.

"It's disappointment, it's pretty hard to put into words right now," Nicholson told Seven Network.

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The 25-year-old didn't want to hear that she was still Australia's most successful female boxer and was inconsolable as she wept uncontrollably during a heartbreaking interview.

"It means nothing to me," she said through tears.

"I don't care about that, I care about what I know I'm capable of and not achieving it, it's just really heartbreaking.

"I came here with one goal and that was the gold medal and I truly believed that I was going to win it.

"So, to go out now it's really really hard for me."

Nicolson never got to meet her brothers, but has admitted that Jamie - a former household name in Australian boxing - is intrinsically linked to her own career.

“I feel like he’s living through me,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018. 

“I feel like I almost knew him in a way because I have this clear, clear image of a brother I never knew.”

Skye Nicolson was shattered after her Olympic dream was ended in Tokyo on Wednesday. Pic: Getty
Skye Nicolson was shattered after her Olympic dream was ended in Tokyo on Wednesday. Pic: Getty

Nicolson claimed gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before declaring that she “won that medal for both of us”, in reference to her late brother.

Skye Nicolson's uncanny resemblance to late brother

The Aussie - who started boxing as a 12-year-old - says the similarities between herself and the brother she never met are uncanny.

“It wasn’t until I was 17 or 18 and started watching video footage of Jamie’s fights I was like, ‘Wow, holy s**t, we actually do really box exactly the same,” she told the Remember the Name podcast this year.

“It’s a really unique style and I wasn’t necessarily taught to box like him, it just kind of naturally happened that way.

“Going and watching footage of me and then footage of him, it’s kind of scary how we never met each other or trained together … and it naturally came to us both, this awkward, untouchable southpaw style.”

If Jamie was still with his sister, he would undoubtedly have been just as proud as the rest of the country was with the Aussie boxer after her gut-wrenching defeat.

The featherweight thought she had done enough against Great Britain's Karriss Artingstall after boxers entered the final round all square according to the five judges.

But, as both boxers prayed while waiting for the call, the decision fell the Brit's way and Nicolson crumpled to the ground in tears.

It was a desperate final round, with three judges giving Artingstall the nod to secure a 3-2 win.

That's despite one judge awarding all three rounds to the 25-year-old Australian, while four of the five gave her the edge in the second round as Nicolson's left jabs to Artingstall's body proved impossible to defend.

A win would have guaranteed bronze, given both semi-final losers are awarded third, while the wait goes on for Australia's first Olympic boxing champion.

with AAP

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