The Story of 17-Year-Old Olympic Boxer Claressa Shields


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The story of 17-year-old boxer Claressa Shields has appeared so far in the New Yorker, The New York Times, NPR, and numerous other high-profile media outlets. Shields, also known as T-Rex, is a teenage boxing phenom from Flint, Michigan, who is looking to be the first woman ever to win Olympic gold. This is the first year the sport is in the Olympics, and Shields is the youngest competitor. Sue Jaye Johnson and her team are following Shields to London for a documentary called T-Rex.

Recently, they put the sports flick up on Kickstarter so they could get a little funding. They've already met their goal, but say that a little more cash will help with post-production. (You can contribute online to the movie until the end of the day Saturday.) To get a taste for what their documentary might include, check out this short video featured on The New York Times, which was produced by Johnson. For more on Shields, read “A Ring of One's Own,” a New Yorker feature by Ariel Levy. It's the perfect Olympic profile to lose yourself in this weekend, as pointed out in this week's longreads selections by Outside's Scott Rosenfield.

Aside from that, you might want to tune in to watch Shields box in the Olympics. She has ambitions that won't stop in London, but it might be nice for you to be able to say you saw her back when, even though a championship might not be so far off.

“I plan to be a world champion before the age of 19, 20,” Shields said in a New York Times Magazine video. “And, if I can do it before then, that would be great too.”

—Joe Spring