Claressa Shields has not only won her first gold Olympic medal, she’s also made history as the first American woman to ever win a middleweight title.
The 17-year-old triumphed with a 19-12 victory over her opponent, 33-year-old Nadezda Torlopova from Russia.
“I think I will wear (the gold medal) every day for the first year,” Shields told CNN.
This year marks the first Olympic games to feature female boxing, making Shields the first American woman to ever to win a medal in the sport. Of the 12 members of Team USA, Shields is the only boxer to win gold.
The Flint, Michigan native qualified for the summer Olympic games after winning the USA boxing trials last year at just 16.
Shields was featured in the August issue of ESSENCE Magazine where she shared her experiences of being raised by a single mother and being sexually abused from age five.
“I don’t walk around carrying a burden like, ‘Oh, I was raped; oh, I was molested,'” she told ESSENCE. “To me, all that is in the past and I overcame it.”
“When I win a gold medal, I’ll be able to tell my story and they’ll be able to see that God is real.”