Flint's Claressa Shields is recognized by Sports Illustrated's 'The Year of the Women' feature.  History setting female boxer Shields receives due praise for her heroic journey to winning a gold medal in boxing this summer.  Flint has been so proud of her and now Sports Illustrated readers can join us. 

SI decided to find teams or individual athletes to represent explicit characteristics for the performances in London.  Shields was tapped for the characteristic of focus. When the men's boxing team failed to grab gold, Shields was our only hope.

According to MLive, SI writer Chris Mannix described Shields' focus before grabbing the gold medal.

"Showing maturity beyond her 17 years, the Flint, Mich., native locked in on her goal. "I put myself in prison," (Shields) says. "I didn't go to any other events. I focused completely on boxing." She fell behind 4-2 after the first round in the quarterfinal, only to rally and batter Sweden's 6-foot Anna Laurell in an 18-14 decision. The gold medal match was less climatic, with Shields whipping 33-year-old Nadezda Torlopova of Russia 19-12. "When I go back and watch all the tournaments I had to fight just to get into the Olympics, I want to cry," says Shields. "Winning that gold medal was something special."

Again, we are extremely proud of the accomplishments Shields has earned and will receive in the future.  I hope young ladies in Flint and across the globe will be inspired by the 17 year old gold medalist from Flint, Michigan.  I am proud of her.