I find myself frequently reminiscing on things that I did when I was younger in high school; playing basketball, amusement parks, myspace, malls, and movies. The age of 16 for most of us was worry/stress free but not for all. The extraordinary Claressa Shields is a 16 year old girl from Flint, Michigan (a high poverty area) who is determined to be on the first Olympic Women’s Boxing Team. Boxing was a women’s competition that was just recently added to the olympic games that will be held in the summer of 2012. While many of Shields classmates are fighting in the streets and getting in trouble shield states that she is fighting to get out of her and her families current financial situation and make a better life for them. Claressa holds an undefeated 19-0 record.
In Spokane, Washington, there was a competition for three spots on the inaugural team for the olympics, in which fields competed in. In the February 18th Olympic Trials Shields faced two time national champion Tika Hemingway and defeated her after four intense rounds with a score of 23 to 18. Claressa will move on to the Women’s World Boxing Championship in China, where the best female boxers in the world will fight for the top 8 spots and a chance to make history at the 2012 Olympics.
Shields is very inspirational to me because she is only 16!!!! Shields started boxing when she was 11 and took a liking to it. She says that because she is a girl in a man dominated sport she is constantly having to prove people wrong; from her family members to her personal trainer. Shield welcomes the criticism because it only makes her work harder and train more intensely.
The U.S. along with other supporters will be closely watching and rooting for Claressa as she continues her journey to be in the first Women’s Boxing Tournament for the Olympic Games.
To learn more about Shields check out the video that she is featured in, which was filmed by the New York Times: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2012/01/25/magazine/100000001309353/bout-time-claressa-shields.html