Shields in 2012
|Rated at||Middleweight, 165 lb (75 kg)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
March 17, 1995 |
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Wins by KO||18|
She won the gold in Women's Middleweight Boxing at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which made her the first American boxer, male or female, to win an Olympic title twice in a row.
She was the youngest boxer at the February 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, where she won the 165-pound weight class. In May 2012, Shields qualified to compete at the 2012 Olympics, the first year that women's boxing was an Olympic event. At the London Olympic games in August 2012, she became the first U.S. woman to win a boxing gold medal. She won the 2012 Olympic middleweight title by defeating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova and the 2016 title by defeating Dutch boxer Nouchka Fontijn.
Shields was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, where she was a high school junior in May 2012. She was introduced to boxing by her father, Bo Shields, who had boxed in underground leagues. Bo was in prison from the time Shields was two years old, and released when she was nine. After his release he talked to her about boxer Laila Ali, piquing her interest in the sport, although Bo nevertheless believed that boxing was a men's sport and refused to allow Shields to pursue it until she was eleven. At that time she began boxing at Berston Field House in Flint, where she met her coach and trainer, Jason Crutchfield. Shields credits her grandmother with encouraging her to not accept restrictions based on her gender.
After winning two Junior Olympic championships Shields competed in her first open-division tournament, the National Police Athletic League Championships 2011; she won the middleweight title and was named top overall fighter as well as qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials. At the trials in she defeated the reigning national champion, Franchon Crews, the 2010 world champion, Andrecia Wasson, and Pittsburgh's Tika Hemingway to win the middleweight class. In April 2011, she won her weight class at the Women's Elite Continental Championships in Cornwall, Ontario against three-time defending world champion Mary Spencer of Canada; she held an undefeated record of 25 wins and 0 losses at that point.
Following Shields' victory at the U.S. Olympic trials, it was initially reported that she would need only a top-8 finish at the 2012 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. On May 10, the day after the contest began but before Shields' first bout, a change to the rules was announced that meant Shields would need to place in the top two from the (North, Central, and South) American Boxing Confederation region of AIBA (AMBC). Shields won her first round, but suffered an upset loss in the second round on May 13 to Savannah Marshall of England, bringing Shields' record to 26-1. Her chances for qualification thus depended on Marshall's subsequent performance; after Marshall advanced to the middleweight finals on May 18, it was announced that Shields had earned an Olympic berth. She won a gold medal in the end, after beating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova 19–12.
In 2014, Shields won the World Championships.
In 2015, Shields became the first American to win titles in women's boxing at the Olympics and Pan American games.
In 2016, Shields won gold at the 2016 AMBC Olympic Qualifying tournament in Argentina.
She won the gold at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics by defeating Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands, the only American gold medalist in the team, and awarded the inaugural women's division of the Val Barker Trophy at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
Shields attempted to adopt her cousin's daughter in 2014.
Shields is the subject of 2015 documentary "T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold." In 2016 Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast, which holds Olympic broadcast rights in the United States, acquired the rights to produce a film about her life story.
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