Youngest US boxer in 40 years heads to Olympics with faith in God

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, July 19 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Claressa Shields talks with a reporter upon her return to Flint, Mich., Monday, May 21, 2012. Shields has earned a shot to box for gold at the London Games.

Ryan Garza, AP

Enlarge photo»

Our take: Claressa Shields is only 17 years old and is the youngest Olympic boxer the U.S. has had in the games in 40 years. Undefeated until she lost a qualifying match, Shields took the loss as a sign that God wanted her to stop taking her success for granted. Before every fight, Shields prays in her corner of the ring saying that if God wants her to get the gold medal in the 2012 London games, nothing will stop her.

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.

Read more about Claressa Shields on Christian Post.

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