London 2012: Teen Claressa Shields Wins Gold Medal In Women's Boxing : The Torch She's still in high school, but boxer Claressa Shields is also an Olympic gold medalist, as she won her middleweight bout Thursday. She defeated Russia's Nadezda Torlopova by a score of 19-12, overcoming the Russian with both speed and power.

Teenager Claressa Shields Wins Historic Gold Medal In Women's Boxing

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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Melissa Block. Now, we're going to hear from London, from an Olympian who won gold today in women's boxing. This is the first Olympics to allow women to box, and American Claressa Shields, just 17 years old, from Flint, Michigan, fought her way to the gold medal in the middleweight class. And Claressa Shields joins me from the boxing arena in London. Claressa, what a huge day for you. Congratulations.


BLOCK: You know, I thought I heard the team coach, Gloria Peek, tell you after the second of four rounds: You did a good job. Now, let's have some fun. Was it fun?

SHIELDS: Yeah. I had a lot of fun, you know? I dropped my hands, moved my head, you know? I was having fun, making her miss, making her pay. I was (unintelligible) with more punches, but, you know, I had made them count, so everything worked out good.

BLOCK: Claressa, we aired a long profile of you on the program earlier this year, and I wanted to listen to a clip from it with you. This is you talking with your father, a former boxer, and you were remembering the first conversation you had with him about boxing when you were little, and you told him: Maybe you can live your dream through me. Let's take a listen.


SHIELDS: You said boxing is a man's sport. That made me so - it made me so mad.

CLARENCE SHIELDS: And you should have took it that way.

That was a chauvinist statement that a girl can't do it. So, you know, you was right.

SHIELDS: And I've been at it ever since. I'm still proving people wrong.

SHIELDS: Truth be known. I just think, little momma, you are awesome.

BLOCK: Claressa, your father wasn't able to be there in London. What do you think this means for him?

SHIELDS: Oh, my dad, he's watching me every day fight. They had like a huge get-together up in Flint. And he always gave me a good word, like whenever I (unintelligible) like saying that I didn't want to box, like my dad always like, you know, you need to go and sleep it off because my dad knows. He knows how his attitude is, and my attitude is kind of like his. So my dad, he's really happy right now.

BLOCK: You know, I think somebody else who's going to be very happy is one of your heroes and somebody who sent you a tweet this week, Sugar Ray Leonard, who tweeted...


BLOCK: you: Your jab is so solid. Use it more. Your hook, wow, just like mine. Win every round and bring home the gold.

SHIELDS: Yeah. You know, I was kind of shocked that he tweeted me. I didn't even know because he didn't tag me in it. I was like what? And I re-tweeted, and I was like, wow, you know? Just having him watch me is a compliment. It means a lot because he's somebody who I studied. It was great.

BLOCK: Well, you have dreamed of - about this moment for quite a long time now, even though you're only 17. Now that you have this Olympic gold, what's next?

SHIELDS: I don't know, you know? It's like tomorrow, I don't know, should I get up and train, you know? It's like I don't know what to do now, you know? This has been my dream the last four or five years. This is what I worked toward every day. It's still unbelievable that I, you know, that I won the gold medal. Yeah. I'm just - I don't know what I'm going to do now, you know? I'm just going to enjoy the moment. I haven't even cried yet. It's like I feel it's kind of unreal. I always, always go to sleep and then I wake up and then I realize something, that's when I go berserk, like I did at the Olympic trials.

BLOCK: Well, Claressa, congratulations again and have fun going berserk with your victory.


SHIELDS: OK. Thank you. Hope to. Bye.

BLOCK: Bye-bye. That's boxer Claressa Shields, who today won gold in the women's middleweight category at the Olympics. And you can find Claressa's radio diary and photos of her and other female boxers at They come to us from Joe Richman and Sue Jaye Johnson.

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