Monday, November 21, 2016

CELEBRATING CLARESSA SHIELDS

Photo Credit: http://www.vibe.com/claressa-shields/

During this past summer, I was totally fired up about the U.S. women's Olympics gymnastics team.Loved the Final Five, as they named themselves, and in particular Simone Biles and Aly Raisman.

As much as I loved and celebrated these ladies, I was also aware that there were a lot of female Olympic athletes - including medal winners - whose accomplishments were barely, if at all, publicized in mainstream media news.  And I wanted to know more about them.

That's when I came across boxer Claressa Shields, who not only won a gold medal in this year's Olympic boxing, but also won a gold medal in women's boxing in the 2012 Olympics at the age of 17!  This makes her the only U.S. boxer of either gender to win back-to-back gold medals at the Olympics!

So why did Claressa not get the attention she deserved after winning the gold at the 2012 Olympics? I think it was due to a combination of racism, classism, and sexism.  

As a whole, our society gives more attention to female athletes who fall within what we consider to be "properly or acceptably feminine."  In other words, we are stretched by the idea that a female can be a fantastic boxer and should be fully celebrated for being a boxing champ.

Some important stuff to know about Claressa:  She is from Flint, Michigan.  She had an incredibly rough childhood, which she is open about. She has only lost a single boxing match.  She recently went pro.

If you want to learn more about Claressa, check out the documentary T-Rex.


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