When Shields won her first gold medal at 17, she wasn't immediately catapulted into fame and lucrative endorsements.
“She was perceived to be too strong, too tough and too fierce to be marketable and didn’t have a strong, experienced team behind her," USA TODAY reported. "After winning the gold medal, life didn’t get easier. When everybody thought Shields had become rich, there she was, going to a collection agency to pay her mother’s past-due water bill.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
“After I won a gold medal [in 2012] and I got home, my gold medal didn’t really mean a lot to the media and, I guess, to the boxing world either,” Shields told the Washington Post. “But I have a great story to tell. I’ve been through a lot.”
On Sunday, after Shields was awarded the gold medal in boxing for the second time, she pulled her first gold medal from her pocket and slipped it over her head.
“People will never forget that I am the first American boxer to win two Olympic [gold] medals,” she said.