Claressa Shields travelled the road that very few women dared to trod – boxing. The sport used to be dominated by the males especially in the Olympics.
However, in the London 2012 Olympics, for the first time women were allowed to compete for gold in boxing. It was Shields’ dream and it came true when she won the gold for women’s boxing.
When Shields was young, her body build was not that of a boxer. She was skinny and had short arms, but she was always swinging. Despite her short stature, she was very aggressive. Thus, she got the nickname, T-Rex.
The future medalist started boxing at the age of eleven saying that boxing was her life. She played basketball for boxing, she ran tracks for boxing. She trained more than the regular boxers training up to eight hours a day that result to a sore body at the end of the day. Shields also gets massages three to four times a week.
Her name became known in the world of boxing. However, her Olympics feat was not enough to open new doors of opportunities for her. Unlike most Olympics gold medalists, they became in-demand as product endorsers. For Claressa Shields, it was not the case.
According to ESPNW, she reveals that endorsements did not come her way. She justified that she was not blessed with good looks. She does not look charming and pretty as most companies look for in their endorsers. Her net worth amounts to $0.2 million. For an Olympian like her, it’s quite meager. She is hoping that she can take home gold just like in 2012.
Shields took some time off from her 2016 Rio Olympics training to talk to ESPN’s 2016 Body Issue. She shared about her training for the ultimate sports event in the world. She admitted that her mental motivation comes from her excitement and her desire to knock down an opponent in the ring. Shields became the first woman from the U.S. to win a medal in boxing.
Despite her family background, she was able to focus in boxing. She grew up with an absentee father because he was in prison. Her role model was Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila Ali. Ali introduced her to the sport that she eventually loves as per Earn The Necklace. To date, she had 75 fights and she won in 74 of them with 18 knock outs.
The American heroine is set the repeat gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Claressa Shields captured the hearts of many because of her determination to excel despite her troubled childhood. Will she bring home gold again?
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