Four years ago, Flint teen Claressa “T-Rex” Shields made history when she became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal for boxing, and she’s hoping to do the same in Rio.
Shields is the subject of PBS’s newest documentary, T-Rex: Her Fight For Gold, which premieres tonight. The film follows the trials and tribulations that the teen boxer, along with her coach, Jason Crutchfield, experienced while on the road to the 2012 London Olympics.
“Jason and Claressa don’t do things halfway,” producer Sue Jaye Johnson told PBS. “This was their story, and they both wanted it told—the good and the bad. As Claressa says, no sugar coating.”
Hailing from Flint, Shields had a tumultuous childhood: Her mother suffered from drug addiction and her father was incarcerated. However, her circumstances didn’t stop her from reaching for the 2012 Olympics—and beyond.
“In the US, women pro boxers are not televised,” Johnson explains, adding that 2012 was the first Olympics where female boxers could compete. “Men get paid 10 times what a woman gets to fight on the same card. Claressa aspires to break those glass ceilings, not just for herself, but for the sport. If she’s fighting on a pro card, she says she will insist that other women are on the card so it’s not a zero-sum game where there is only room for one successful woman.”
Check out the trailer for the inspiring documentary below, and be sure to watch it on PBS tonight at 10/9c.