Mary Spencer is going to the Olympics.
The Windsor, Ont., fighter has received the wild card berth in the women’s 75-kilogram weight class at this summer’s London Games, Boxing Canada announced Monday.
"The route to London was not as expected, but I feel I've learned a lot and I will take those lessons with me on the final leg of the journey," Spencer said in a statement.
Spencer had been awaiting a decision on the wild card for weeks, since she lost her opening bout at last month’s world championships in China, where two automatic Olympic spots were available to be won by boxers from the Americas.
The three-time world champion’s hopes remained alive because of the provision to award one wild card Olympic spot to a fighter from the Americas, one of five global regions determined by the AIBA, amateur boxing’s international governing body.
Boxing Canada said earlier this month that Spencer and another unidentified fighter were under consideration for the wild card. The decision, which took longer than expected to be announced, was made by a committee that included representatives of the AIBA and the International Olympic Committee.
At Monday's announcement at the Windsor Amateur Boxing Club, Spencer said the wait hasn't affected her preparations for London.
"I've been able to stay focused," she said. "The No. 1 thing was getting back to the gym and training for the Olympics."
Spencer won a pair of tuneup fights in Quebec over the weekend and said she feels confident as she prepares for the start of Olympic competition on Aug. 5 at the ExCeL complex in London.
"I can't wait to really make the most and the best of the situation," she said.
Canadians Bujold, Bizier miss out
Spencer, 27, was born in Wiarton, Ont., and grew up in Windsor. In addition to her three world titles, the five-foot-11 fighter has won eight Canadian championships, and she captured gold at the Pan American Games last fall in Mexico.
Spencer's absence would have been a big blow to the Canadian Olympic team. She's considered one of Canada's top hopes for a medal in London, where women’s boxing is making its Olympic debut. Spencer is also featured prominently in television ad campaigns, including spots for the CoverGirl makeup line.
If Spencer had not received the wild card entry, Canada would have been without a female boxer in London. Hopefuls Mandy Bujold and Sandra Bizier both failed to qualify after losing their opening bouts at the world championships, and neither received a wild card spot.
"It's a moment I was hoping to share with my best friend," Spencer said of Bujold. "But she's really strong, she's tough, and she's going to be training hard for [the 2016 Olympics in Rio]."
10,500 Athletes From 205 National Olympic Committees
Regent Street Installs National Flags Ahead Of The Olympics. <br> Flags of 200 nations are displayed on Regent Street on June 15, 2012 in London, England.
26 Sports; 39 Disciplines
Team GB Fencing Athletes Announced For London 2012 Olympic Games. <br> British Olympic Association announce the remaining fencing athletes selected for Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Institute of Education in London on June 12, 2012 in London, England.
Torchbearers Colin Wooley, Mhairi Parr, Ciaran Mulligan, Matilda Swanson and Hamish Swanson carry the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Cults and Aberdeen on day 24 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on June 11, 2012 in Scotland. The Olympic Flame will be carried across Britain and Ireland.
The Average distance each torchbearer has the flame. <br> Torchbearer Lauren Fraser carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Crathie on day 24 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on June 11, 2012 in Scotland.
8,000 Miles (12,785 Kilometers )
The length of the torch relay. <br> Torchbearer Henry Shefflin carries the Olympic Flame on the skywalk above Croke Park stadium on day 19 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on June 6, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland.
34 Venues Around The U.K.
A general view of the ArcelorMittal Orbit Sculpture and the Olympic Stadium during the Sainsbury's 2012 UK School Games at the Olympic Stadium on May 9, 2012 in London, England.
302 Medal Events
A 1948 London Olympic poster is displayed next to two London 2012 gold medals in The British Museum's 'Winning at the ancient Games' victory trail on June 1, 2012 in London, England.
8.8 Million Tickets
Olympic mascots pose for photographs during the Mayor's of London Boris Johnson and LOCOG Chairman's Lord Coe visit to The Compton School to call on schools in London and across the UK to make sure they are ready to claim their share of thousands of tickets to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
21,000 Media And Broadcasters
Team GB head coaches Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell, Chief de mission of the BOA, Andy Hunt and Sir Clive Woodward, Director of Sport for BOA talk to the media during a Team GB press conference during the Official Draw for the London 2012 Olympic Football Tournament at Wembley Stadium.
The portion of the U.K. population within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of the flame. <br> Torchbearer Thomas Toumazis interacts with the spectators as he carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Musselburgh and Bilston on June 14, 2012 in Loanhead, Scotland.
1 Billion Visitors To London2012.com
A woman poses for a photograph as she works on her laptop sitting at the base of a tree on the grass enjoying the warm weather in a park in central London on March 15, 2012.
14 Million Meals
To be served at the games. <br> Visitors enjoy a picnic on the new riverside spectator lawn at the London 2012 Olympic Park on June 15, 2011 in London, England.
Volunteers collect their new London 2012 Olympic Games 'Games time' uniform at a Uniform distribution and accreditation centre, UDAC, on April 27, 2012 in London, England.
2,012 Official Pin Badge Designs
London 2012 pin badges officially went on display at the launch of the London Olympic Games official merchandise on July 30, 2010 in London, England.
28 "Olympic Live Sites"
Across the nation, "live sites" will be equipped with big screen televisions. <br> In this handout photo illustration provided by LOCOG, an artist impression depicts scenes of the crowd cheering at 'Park Live' presented by British Airways, to be situated in the heart of the Olympic Park in Stratford, London.
203,000 Pieces Of Luggage
The estimated number leaving Heathrow on Aug. 13, the day after the Olympics end. <br> Rows of passenger luggage items are stacked in Heathrow airport's Terminal 3, west of London, on December 20, 2010.
Dan Clark of the Standard Life Great Britain Basketball team poses for a picture after meeting with Lionel Price, the only surviving member of the 1948 Great Britain Basketball team - the last Great Britain Basketball team to compete in an Olympic Games.
The lifejackets will be used for canoeing, marathon swimming, rowing, sailing, and triathlon events in the Olympics. <br> Liam Heath and Jonathan Schofield of Great Britain in training during the Team GB canoe sprint athletes announcement for London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on June 14, 2012 in Windsor, England.
510 Adjustable Hurdles
The hurdles will be used for track events throughout the games. <br> London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) Chairman Sebastien Coe poses on the track ahead of the BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships, a London 2012 test event, part of the London Prepares Series, at the Olympic Stadium in London.
356 Pairs Of Boxing Gloves
Luke Campbell, Tom Stalker, Tommy Proffitt, Anthony Joshua, Ron Cooper, Fred Evans and Andrew Selby of Team GB during the Announcement of the first Boxers named for the London 2012 Olympic Games on December 2, 2011 in London, England.
99 Training Dolls
The dolls will be utilized by athletes for wrestling and judo training. <br> Kenichi Yumoto and his twin brother Shinichi Yumoto of Japan take part in the training session for the Japan Men's wrestling team for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the National Training Center on May 24, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.
12,000 Police Officers
Many officers will be on duty with the most amount deployed on the busiest days. <br> Armed police officers patrol the Olympic Park during day two of the BUCS VISA Athletics Championships 2012 LOCOG Test Event for London 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in London, England.
London 2012 begins 'bedding in' at Olympic Village 6 months ahead of the Games. The pillows will occupy Athlete Village, the competitors' residence during the games. Olympian Matthew Pinsent helps lift in the first of 16,000 beds to be installed in Village as the ODA completes construction of apartments on time.