Claressa Shields is a boxer competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Coming out of seemingly nowhere, Flint, Michigan's Claressa Shields turned the 2012 Women's Olympic Trials into her own personal welcome party. After handling 6-time National Champion Franchon Crews in her opening round bout, 31-19, Shields reeled off two victories before pounding Tika Hemingway in the finals, 23-18.

Shields headed to May's Women's World Championships as the U.S. representative in the middleweight (75kg) division. Traveling to Qinhuangdao, China in her first time leaving North America, Shields entered Worlds as a favorite among the experts. Though she lost in her second bout to England's Savannah Marshall, she qualified for the Olympics when Marshall reached the finals. A rematch between the two would provide quality theater in London.

Spend a short time talking to Shields and you'll quickly realize she's not your average 17-year-old. Though she enjoys going to school (her favorite subject is language arts) and texting with friends, Shields loves one thing the typical high school junior knows nothing about: beating people up. Asked what her favorite punch to throw is, the precocious youngster immediately responds, "all of them!"

As a top-notch athlete, Shields goes through the same routine almost every weekday to maintain a level of excellence. Up at exactly 6:10, she's dressed and on the bus by 6:42. She arrives at school by 7:10, eats breakfast and makes it to her first hour by 7:31. Her seventh and last hour ends at 3:11, and she's home by 3:40. She'll either take a nap and eat or eat and then nap before heading to the gym for practice from 6:00-8:00. She then heads home and goes to bed.

Shields' practice is also structured the same way day in and day out. She'll start by stretching and warming up with a 2-1/2 mile run on the track upstairs at her gym. Once downstairs, she gets on the wall or gets in the ring and shadow boxes. Then she moves to the bags and ropes. Sparring comes next, followed by more bags and ropes, then stairs and suicides. Shields ends her workout with crunches.

Claressa headed to early-April's Elite Continental Championships in Canada with little international experience under her belt. She easily dismissed unheralded Brazilian Roselli Feitosa in the semifinal to set up a date with Canadian Mary Spencer, the 2005, 2008 and 2010 World Champion. Unfazed by her opponent's experience, Shields came out swinging. She eventually took the bout 27-14, a major victory in the young teenager's career.




FACTS

How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 22 years old
Birthday: March 17, 1995
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 165 lbs.
Birthplace: Flint, MI
Current Residence: Flint, MI


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