Motivated by constant bullying while growing up in Chester, Fredia Gibbs turned to sports and eventually became a kickboxing champion, writes DeArbea Walker for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
At the age of 10, Gibbs joined Chester’s Quiet Storm Martial Arts, and the school helped her gain self-confidence and do more than just stand up to her bullies.
At Chester High School, Gibbs was a track and basketball star. She excelled as a basketball player at Cabrini and went on to play professionally in Europe.
In 1994, she became the only African-American woman to win an International Sport Karate Association Muay Thai title.
“I had a lot of prove being a black woman,” said Gibbs.
She won two more titles before ending her kickboxing career with a 16-0-1 record. Then, from 1998 to 2003, she was a pro boxer with a 9-2-1 record.
Now, a seven-foot bronze statue will be erected in her honor in front of the Boys and Girls Club of Chester.
“I’m really excited for it,” said Gibbs, 55. “It’s going to be cool.”
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