Boxing NewsShera Mae Patricio

Shera Mae Patricio: Hawaiian Boxer With An Olympic Dream

by Luke Santangelo

Growing up in Waianae, Hawaii, Shera Mae Patricio went through trials and tribulations to get to Team USA, as she had to hurdle many obstacles throughout her career. When looking back, the sport of boxing and her family were in her corner every step of the way. She overcame every obstacle and made a name for herself through adversity.

 

Patricio grew up in a boxing family, where she is the oldest of eight. Her father, Lyndon Patricio was a boxer and even trained with Team USA at one point. Shera Mae grew up competing in a cluster of sports, such as boxing, wrestling, and swimming, but gymnastics had her heart at a young age. Competing nationally in gymnastics, she tried to balance all the different sports but eventually transitioned to her father’s sport after she won her first national tournament. Patricio would explain that receiving that belt and medal for the first time sparked a light in her and a feeling she never wanted to let go.

Shera Mae (Photo by Usa Boxing)

Gymnastics taught her balance and helped her make a smooth transition to boxing.  The Hawaiian native would go on to compete more and more and started to create a name not only for herself but also for bringing the sport of boxing back to Hawaii.

 

“My family is my biggest motivation. I do this for them,” stated Patricio. “I also like to represent Hawaii. We as a community have grown a lot over the past years, and I am putting the state back on the map. It was big in the early 2000s and then slowed down. Now, I feel Hawaii is making a comeback and doing big things in the sport of boxing.”

Shera Mae (Photo by Usa Boxing)

The skilled boxer would then be invited to Team USA in 2018. She was blossoming in all aspects of the ring. She would win the 2019 USA Boxing National Junior Olympics before making the jump to the youth division, winning the 2019 Youth National Championships later that year.

 

However, then she was forced to overcome two devastating experiences in the span of two years. Patricio grew up training at the Aiwohi Boxing Gym, where her dad would train her. However, another coach, Mark Aiwohi, who was like a father figure to her, suddenly passed away due to a heart attack in 2019, causing the whole Patricio family to be distraught by this loss.

 

Losing a father-like figure and a coach in her corner caused her many tears. She brought herself closer to God, which also helped her breakthrough this dark moment and motivated her to keep going. She stated that having God in her corner brought her to peace and finding herself again. The Patricio family puts a lot of faith in God to this day and believes his plan to guide them through their journey and put them down the right path.

 

Having to overcome one devastating experience, Patricio was faced with another in 2021.

 

What started like a typical day of picking up her siblings from school was anything but a typical day. An electrician truck tried to merge into her lane and clipped the back of her car, causing her to spin out of control. Patricio explained that the car would flip three times before finally landing.  Checking to ensure her five siblings in the car were safe, her younger brother yelled their sister’s name, Sheelyn. Sheelyn was spotted in the middle of the interstate covered in blood after being flown out of the car. 

 

Shera was devastated by this event, felt like it was her fault, and was terrified of what had happened. Her sister was rushed to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a hip fracture and had to get a skin graft. The doctors at the time were scared Sheelyn was going to need to amputate her hand. However, their father was against that, and she received multiple surgeries to improve her condition. Sheelyn, a boxer herself, is now boxing again and recently competed at the 2024 U.S Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and placed second.

 

Shera, at the time, was battling not only a mental war but was also terrified and thinking about her sister as she headed back to Colorado Springs with Team USA. Trying her best to focus on what she could control, she explained that boxing would bring confidence back into herself, as she was fighting to make her sister proud and herself proud.

“Boxing was how I was able to get through all my obstacles because boxing becomes almost like therapy once you are in the ring,” stated Patricio. “It is a way to ease my pain and to just live in that moment. I don’t think about anything outside the ring. Boxing helps me get through my pain as I just do what I love.”
Shera Mae Patricio

Clawing back to where she was and getting her mindset straight, she was forced to overcome yet another obstacle. Patricio, doing her best to fight through these challenging times, began to doubt herself and get inside her head.  She could always rely on her two loving parents whenever she went through these tough times.

 

“My mom and dad always remind me to stay focused and give me loving support,” stated Patricio. “No matter what situation it was, they were in my corner. They knew I could get here and be here.”

 

Shera has not only her family in her corner, but she also has the whole state of Hawaii.  Patricio explains that she is bringing Hawaii culture with her as she prepares for her Olympic journey.

 

“Hawaii is family to me. If I am winning, then Hawaii is winning,” said Patricio.

 

Hawaii was winning proudly when she recently fought at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing in Lafayette, La. Boxing in one of the deepest weight classes in the Olympic Trials, Patricio would go on and prevail once more, earning her a spot for Team USA Selection Camp in January. She would go head-to-head with another boxer, and after a month of evaluation, she was awarded the spot. She will try to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the upcoming World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, where she would need to finish top four in her weight class to punch her ticket to Paris.

Shera Mae Patricio (Photo by USA Boxing)

She stated winning the Olympic Trials was a dream come true as she is the first female boxer from Hawaii to win gold in an Olympic Trials for boxing. However, her job is not finished. Patricio is happy with how far she has made it, but her eyes are set on a bigger prize, achieving the dream of qualifying for Paris and bringing a gold medal to Hawaii.

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