Seventeen-year-old U.S. Olympic team boxer Claressa Shields prays in her corner of the ring before every fight.
Dubbed by boxing experts as a superstar in the making, Shields was 26-0 before suffering her first loss on her way to qualifying for the Olympics in London. “When she lost for the first time in her life she prayed very hard,” says photographer Sue Jaye Johnson, who is on a film production team along with two others documenting her journey to and at the Olympics.
“She emerged from that experience feeling like God was trying to send her a message. That she needed to experience a loss and not take anything for granted,” Johnson told The Christian Post.
“God has a plan for me, if it’s meant for me to get this gold medal, I will.”I’m thankful though, all Glory to God!”
Upon learning on May 18 that she qualified for the Olympics, Shields told USA Boxing, “The first thing I thought was thank you God, I’m so, so happy. You are there, you are hearing me.”
It is the first time in Olympics history that women’s boxing will be a medal sport and Shields is the youngest U.S. boxer in 40 years.
At a church in Michigan, a special prayer service was held for U.S. Olympians from the area. Shields was in attendance.
Take a look at this inspiring young woman’s story.
A strong showing is exactly what Shields prays for as she waits for the London Olympics to begin on July 27.
“It’s been stressful. I’ve been praying to God. Please give me a chance. Give me a shot. When I lost, it threw me off. At least I get a chance to get a gold medal and have a good learning experience,” she said. “I lost one but when I get to London, I will not make the same mistake. Now I know all the girls I am looking forward to. I’m going to study them like a book.”
Good Luck Claressa!
Here is some inspiring music for our Olympians!
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