Local Olympian returns home from Rio and shares his future boxing plans

Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 19:47:38-04

With loads of support behind him, US Olympian Charles Conwell is returning home. 

“The support was from different states, not just Ohio,” said Annette Conwell, the 18 year old Olympian’s mother.

And after almost a year of training, Charles Conwell's road to Rio finally became a reality.

"I said to my teammate, we are really in the Olympics? That's crazy! We're like all so young and we're really here," he said.

His father and boxing coach Charles Conwell Sr. shared the time in Rio was unforgettable.

“It was a great experience, you know you're at the top of your game when you're headed to the Olympics."

At the top, but still the youngest on the US boxing team, Charles was pegged as the underdog from the start.

“I know at that level there's a lot of politics involved, I knew going in we were up on an uphill battle, we were the youngest one on the team, we really wasn't supposed to be there no way," his father said.

Going toe to toe with a 2012 Olympian from India, Charles knew his competition was steep, but refused to let it stop him.

“I was nervous the day before, you know you really can't sleep, you know you're always thinking about the fight...but you really don't know is that when you're in the ring," said the recent high school graduate of Cleveland Heights High School.

Giving the fight all he could, he thought he had it in the bag.

“The third round was all me I thought, thought I pushed it out," he said.

But in the end, the judges favored his opponent, shifting Conwell's focus to achieve something even greater.

"I was really surprised about the outcome…it was a real big dream crusher, because this is my dream since I was a young kid. Maybe the pros are looking good in my future," he projected.

“When you're talking pros you’re talking about a livelihood, this is your job now, you know so it definitely has to be a different perspective," he dad said.

Having that in his back pocket, right now he said he's just enjoying being back home for the first time in a while.

“It made me still happy to know that people behind me still support me even if I lose,” he said.

And his parents expressed that no matter what he decides to do with his future, they've got his back.

“We're proud regardless," Charles Sr. said.

"I just want him to be him, just be the greatest 'you' ever," said his mom.

If Charles does decide to go pro, which athletes before him like Floyd Mayweather have done, he'd have to register with the Ohio Professional Boxing League and then could literally begin fighting the very next day.