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Professional athletes are inspirational role models to many. Their stories of discipline, hard work and overcoming adversity are motivating in a unique way. Succeeding in the world of professional sports means dedicating yourself fully to your passions and goals, and it also means facing rejection and failure—and coming out on top.

Each week, Athlete on Demand highlights a professional athlete who has excelled in their field and is an example of determination and perseverance in their personal and professional life.

This week we are featuring world champion boxer Christy Martin.

Christy was born in 1968 in Itmann, West Virginia. Her father, Johnny Salters, was a welder at the local coal mine and her mother, Joyce, was a stay-at-home mother. As a professional boxer, Christy went by the nickname “The Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was a reference to her family background.

Professional Career
At age 21, Christy was offered her first professional boxing bout. Her career kicked off with a six-round draw against Angela Buchanan. By the time she retired in 2012, Christy held a record of 49 wins, 7 losses, and 3 draws with 31 wins by knockout. She has been inducted into six Halls of Fame, including the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and has appeared on television programs such as “Leno”, “Letterman”, “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show.

Personal Life
In 2010, Christy survived a murder attempt by her former husband. Following this experience, she founded Christy’s Champs, an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. Christy is also currently the founder and CEO of Christy Martin Promotions, a boxing promotion company. In 2017 she married world champion boxer Lisa Holewyne.

To learn more about Christy Martin, visit her website.