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Boxing has been featured in the Competitive Program of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) since the event was inaugurated in Singapore in 2010. This paper examines whether boxing is a suitable sport to advance the professed goals of the YOG. It concludes that it is not, and that it should be removed from the YOG’s Competitive Program. One line of argument focuses on the questionable impact of boxing on the health of young athletes. In this regard, issues of autonomy, consent, and paternalism are discussed in relation to the health of these athletes. A second line of argument focuses on the central purpose of boxing and its relation to Olympism. The paper suggests that, in light of the sport’s moral failings, the discontinuation of boxing would better align the YOG with the values of Olympism.


This work was supported by Charles University, Czech Republic [grant number PROGRES Q19].

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Torres, C. R. & Parry, J. (2017). Boxing and the Youth Olympic Games. Diagoras: International Academic Journal on Olympic Studies, 1, 169–190. Retrieved from

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Published under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license