Flint’s Claressa Shields made history this afternoon, becoming the first U.S. boxer to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, defeating the Netherland’s Nouchka Fontijn in the women’s middleweight (75 kg).
This is gold medal story of survival, escaping from poverty and a difficult childhood, bouncing between 11 homes by the time she was 12, turning all of that pain into a champion boxer.
It is a story of growth and maturity.
She split from her longtime coach, Jason Crutchfield, who had coached her when she started boxing at 11 and had been a father figure in her life.
In May, she moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo, staying in a dorm. The move was to simplify her life, trying to avoid the distractions.
But along the way, she has also learned responsibility, which is natural for somebody who is no longer a teeenager.
“The difference is, now that I’m grown, I make a lot of decisions in my life,” Shields said, earlier this week. “I kind of protect myself. When I was 17, my coach would turn off my phone for me. He would ask me was I OK all the time. He would check on me constantly. He would see me on Twitter at 1 o’clock in the morning and he’d be like, what are you doing? Go to bed.’
“Now, it’s like, I have to tell myself to do those things. Go to bed. Drink right. Eat right. Don’t stay up too late. Don’t stay in the shower for 20 minutes, because it’s like a steam room. Get in there for 5 minutes and get out. I have to keep reminding myself these things. I’m telling myself to focus.”
Be Sure to check out her story “T-Rex” Now Streaming on Netflix!!