Flint community bursting with pride after Claressa Shields punch - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint community bursting with pride after Claressa Shields punches her way to Olympic gold

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(08/09/12) - Flint boxing sensation Claressa Shields proves that hard work and determination pay off as she fought her way to the top, earning a gold medal Thursday in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

She's only 17 and a student at Flint's Northwestern High School, but now, she's an Olympic champion - who made history in the ring.

Claressa was the youngest boxer in the line-up and she now holds the top honors in the first-ever women's Olympic boxing competition.

Claressa took on a Russian fighter to claim the gold, winning the middleweight match-up 19 to 12.

Everyone back home is looking forward to seeing Claressa bring home that gold, and Thursday, we heard she may be back into town as early as Monday.

Those at the Berston Field House where Claressa trained are buzzing with excitement at her victory.

"I already knew she was going to win, I have faith in her," said Torry Player, who's sparred with Claressa.

"We sparred two times, yeah she beat me, she really beat me," he said. "The first time I was like, I can't believe let a girl beat me, then I'm like she has been boxing longer than me and she is my older cousin."

People who work at Berston have watched Claressa grow into an Olympic champion.

"She's real humble, strictly business though, trying to bully the boys a little bit," said Anthony Bradshaw, who works at the Berston Field House. "So she got a good attitude, everybody loves her, she's a good person."

So Thursday, they watched her match-up with baited breath.

"I went crazy, I felt like I was Rocky Balboa, hit her Claressa, keep swinging! I was fighting the air while she's fighting, it was a wonderful feeling," Bradshaw said.

A wonderful feeling to see someone so inspiring taking the international stage, and showing the world the talent that started in the Vehicle City.

"People don't see that Flint has a lot of good in it, it really does, they just think about the negative and that's not cool, but she's showing the positive we have in our city," Player said.

Thursday, the Flint City Council said they want to hold the biggest parade the city's ever seen when Claressa gets home.

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