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A two-time Golden Gloves winner and certified trainer who once ranked as the #2 boxer in nation by USA Boxing, Cara Castronuova is a consummate athlete whose passion for boxing and being fit began very early in her childhood.
She was born and raised in Elmont, New York, with three younger brothers, and began boxing at the age of five in the family garage with her father, a former Marine. She wrestled in high school and in college, and graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.
Castronuova first entered the boxing arena as a youth boxing trainer, and shortly after, began competing locally as a boxer, winning her first fight in 2002 at the Empire State Games in Syracuse, New York. She also did volunteer work for a government-funded program for troubled youth to teach the virtues of boxing and keep them off the streets.
Later, while working as a personal fitness and boxing trainer at popular sports clubs in the New York area, like Chelsea Piers and Gleason's Boxing Gym, she used fighting and boxing to encourage clients to "find their warrior within." While continuing to train clients, Castronuova kept boxing competitively, winning a pair of Silver Gloves in 2004, the second-place prize in the Golden Gloves competition. Determined to redeem herself, Castronuova came back one year later and won her first New York Golden Gloves championship at Madison Square Garden in 2005 in front of a televised, capacity crowd.
Following her first Golden Gloves win, she started competing nationally and was ranked #2 in the nation by USA Boxing. She went on to place in national tournaments and win numerous titles, such as the NYABC title, the Metros, the Empire State Games, and won her second Golden Gloves title in 2006 at Madison Square Garden. Certified as a boxing coach by the New York State Athletic Commission, she is also a certified personal trainer.
Castronuova has been a fighter her whole life, inside the ring and out. Her father, who was obese, died when she was just a teenager. Her mother died in a car accident four years ago, and she has since had to take care of an aunt, who is also obese, and her younger brothers, who live with her. "Boxing competitively taught me how important it is to never give up, no matter how hard it gets," she says.
She also trained extensively in martial arts and other fighting techniques, which led to acting opportunities as well, primarily as a stuntwoman and stunt coordinator. In addition, she has worked as a reporter and fitness writer for New York and boxing press outlets, and as an announcer and sports commentator for various boxing venues in New York City like Madison Square Garden.
Castronuova has learned firsthand that in boxing and in life, "a comeback is important," and that fighting mentality has served her well professionally and personally. Now she looks forward to helping "The Biggest Loser" contestants find "their warrior within" and make their own comebacks on the road to good health.