Rock on, Raquel! From Bayview to Rio, Raquel ‘The Rock’ Miller on the 2016 Olympic road

by Malaika Kambon
Sights & Sounds of the BAYVIEW“In order to reach your full potential you have to be willing to do what others won’t and work when others don’t. It’s the repetition that gets you there. Keep working!” – Raquel Miller

Dynamic, brilliant and an elite athlete extraordinaire, Raquel “The Rock” Miller believes that boxing is more than boxing – that it is a lifestyle. She is proving this on a daily basis.

Through her disciplined work ethic and her commitment to the “sweet science,” through diligence and perseverance, The Rock won several national boxing tournaments and qualified for the world championships in Beijing. She won a silver medal there. And she accomplished all of this in under two years.

From there she won a spot on the first ever U.S. Women’s Boxing Team USA and was selected to be the sparring partner for Michigan’s Claressa Shields at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

Thanks to the combined strengths of both African-American women, Claressa Shields medaled gold.

The Rock won several national boxing tournaments and qualified for the world championships in Beijing. She won a silver medal there. And she accomplished all of this in under two years.

On the road to compete in the 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Raquel spends most of her time training hard multiple times per day.

Raquel Miller - SparringAnd her accomplishments have continued in 2013. One of the fiercest competitors in the sweet science of boxing, Raquel Miller has again proven her mettle by winning the 2013 National Golden Gloves Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and National Adidas Pal Championships held in Oxnard, Calif.

It is therefore not surprising that in a bit over two years since she began following her dream, she has accomplished – and given – the sport of boxing so much.

Like The Rock for which she has been named, whether she is being the best auntie to her new baby nephew Pierce, sharpening her skills as a sports commentator and critic, working as co-founder with her sister Taneshia on their non-profit for girls called Ladies in Power or standing up to an opponent in the ring, Raquel always remains focused, gracious and centered upon achieving her goals.

Look, listen, feel her story.

Malaika H Kambon is a freelance photojournalist and the 2011 winner of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association Luci S. Williams Houston Scholarship in Photojournalism. She also won the AAU state and national championship in Tae Kwon Do from 2007-2010. She can be reached at kambonrb@pacbell.net. This story first appeared in the SF Examiner.com.