Claressa Shields is a teenage Olympic boxing champion, who didn’t have the easiest path in life. She was raised in Flint, Michigan in a neighborhood plagued by gangs. Her parents split and her father even spent time in jail. Also, since she was taller than the other girls, she was bullied at times. When she expressed interest in boxing, her dad at first refused to allow it, claiming it was a man’s sport. The guys at the gym made fun of her.
However, Claressa is a fighter (literally!) and refused to let others determine her future. She learned to fight to protect herself in her neighborhood. When her dad told her “no” to boxing, she wouldn’t stop bugging him until he allowed her in the ring. Those mouthy boys and those bullies? I’m guessing that they aren’t going to mess with an Olympic boxing champion!
Claressa has that combination of hard work, drive, and refusal to give up that leads to success. She hooked up with a great trainer and hit the gym every night. At the age of 14, she decided she wanted to win an Olympic medal. At age 17, she actually won it at the London Olympics! She continues to pursue her dream and prove wrong those people who look down on her because she’s young and female in a typically male sport.
If you want to follow in Claressa’s footsteps and become successful and popular, you can learn from her excellent example. Her story illustrates the importance of:
- Willingness to stand up for your goals and values
- Practice and hard work
- Finding good people to help you along the way
In the end, Claressa made history, as the first woman to win a gold medal in an Olympic boxing competition. And, she’s only a senior in high school! Let Claressa be your role model as you chase your dreams as well!