On the last day of the Olympic Games in Rio, Claressa “T-Rex” Shields made history becoming the first American boxer, male or female, to take home two gold medals after she defeated the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn.
And the 21-year-old wasn’t afraid to own this major accomplishment, the Los Angeles Times noted.
“People will never forget that I am the first American boxer to win two Olympic [gold] medals,” Shields said. “I worked so hard to get here. Not everyone can be an Olympic gold medalist, period. To be able to say I’m a two-time Olympic gold medalist?”
The Flint, Michigan native also stressed that her tough upbringing and what’s she had to overcome has made her the fierce competitor she is now. (Her father spent most of her childhood in prison, while her mother struggled with drugs and alcohol, The Grio noted.)
“I have been through a lot in my life. But I want to inspire. I want to give people just a little bit of hope because I was one of those kids who didn’t have any hope,” she said. “And when I had just a little bit, look how far I’ve been able to come. Your life is based on your decisions. I decided I wanted to be great.”
And great she is.
And while the Rio Games are said and done, that doesn’t mean Shields’ visibility is. Currently, a 2016 documentary about her life, T-Rex, is steaming on Netflix and according to Shadow and Act, Universal Pictures and Michael De Luca Productions have optioned Shields’ life story with plans to produce a“Rocky-esque” feature film based on it.
Congrats Claressa! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.