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ARMOLD: Despite Olympic Trials ouster, ex-Eastern York standout Wolf still a winner

ELIJAH ARMOLD
YorkDispatch

News:Wrightsville to Rio? York native chasing Olympic boxing dream

Related:Wolf rose quickly through the ranks of Team USA Boxing

There's more than just the sweet science of boxing when it comes to Danyelle Wolf.

There's also the arts.

Aside from being an accomplished athlete and champion boxer, the former Eastern York High School standout athlete is her own brand.

She self-funded her recent Olympic journey, one that came to an end with Tuesday's 2-1 split decision loss to Naomi Graham in a challenger bracket bout at the Olympic Trials in Memphis, Tennessee. She did so by putting her Millersville University art degree to work for her, selling her own artwork. That allows her the time to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices needed to chase her Olympic dream, and now figure out her next step.

In fact, one fortuitous sale has already allowed her the opportunity to train in Thailand, helping to cover costs such as lodging, transportation and various training-related expenses.

Her artistic endeavors also serve as a means of escape from the intensity of training and life inside the ropes for the three-time Team USA national champion boxer.

They allow her yet another outlet for her tireless work ethic and creativity.

"I've been an artist ever since I was a little girl," Wolf said. "I always use it as a creative outlet. I'm always creative in my head. I always have ideas."

At one point, Wolf was also a trainer operating from her own gym that she created in her garage in an effort to generate the income necessary to chase the dream. She also runs her own website, where she sells the art and T-shirts, and she's also set up a crowd-funding site where fans have donated toward boxing costs.

She's wise to the business side of it all, everything from the shirts to running her own social media and marketing campaign. Wolf also said she's an inventor, with patents in the works for projects that are drawing interest, although she didn't want to get too specific about those endeavors.

Familiar with national stage: Wolf's boxing career isn't her first time on the national stage, either.

Her impressive physique was noted on a nation-wide level when ESPN the Magazine came calling in 2014 to have her appear in its annual "Body" issue.

"ESPN, they just kind of called me, it was really cool," Wolf said. "They called and asked me to be in the "Body" issue and I said: 'Are you sure you called the right person?' Yeah, I'm a champion but I'm not an Olympian or anything. I was just honored by the opportunity."

The entertainment world has also come calling. Wolf put her athletic abilities on display and to the test on the NBC show "American Ninja Warrior."

Promoting boxing: While she would have loved nothing more than a chance to don the Stars and Stripes in Brazil for the 2016 Summer Games, she hopes her impact on the sport can transcend Olympic disappointment.

She's hoping the route she took can help encourage other women athletes toward the sport by helping to combat the negative stereotypes that sometimes surround it. She hopes to convey the classy, beautiful elements of boxing.

"Hitting someone is the smallest part of it," Wolf said. "It's being able to adapt in all different types of situations. The training is where all the intensive hours are. It's more of like a chess match, less of your pounding somebody's face in."

Wolf's message is also that anyone can achieve their goals using the lessons reinforced in boxing, such as discipline and hard work.

"Anything is possible," she said. "I didn't start boxing until I was 25 years old. If you want something bad enough, there's no one holding you back but yourself.

"There's no excuses, I could say the same thing of every excuse that every person brings up, I have them all too," Wolf said. "But I don't let any excuse get the best of me. That's what life is about, being the best you and being the best you can be."

What's next: Always seeking the next challenge, Wolf said now that the Olympic dust has settled there will likely be an attempt at making boxing a career in the pro ranks.

There's also a chance you might someday spot Wolf inside the octagon. She has an expressed interest in mixed martial arts.

"I'm such a good, well-rounded, natural athlete and I feel sometimes I'm not using everything. I would be excited to start using my legs and everything," Wolf said.

However, her disciplined approach to the fight game won't allow her to rush in and expect instant success. It's a notion she initially had to overcome with boxing. She said she was used to doing just that in her athletic career before getting inside the ropes.

"I think it's important to learn one discipline at a time," Wolf said. "You learn stance, distance, footwork, with boxing and it's a great one to start with."

No matter what the future holds for Wolf, she's already a winner.

She's someone who has already represented our country proudly as a three-time Team USA national champion, and her fighting has taken her all over the world while wearing the red, white and blue.

She's also been a great representative for York County, as well.

— Reach Elijah Armold at earmold@yorkdispatch.com; @EADispatch on Twitter