Statement from ESSENCE Magazine Regarding Historic Gold Medal Victory for U.S. Female Boxing Champion Claressa Shields

Aug 09, 2012, 17:15 ET from ESSENCE Magazine

NEW YORK, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Sharon Boone, Senior Editor, Health & Relationships, ESSENCE:

"I am beyond thrilled by Claressa Shields' historic gold medal victory at the London Olympics.  I have been following Claressa, and have been a fan of hers, since she plowed through the field to win the U.S. Team Boxing trials earlier this year—at just age 16. Now at 17-years-old, to think that this amazing young woman has claimed the prize that she set out to with such fierce focus.  Claressa's story, which was featured in the August issue of ESSENCE, is one that struck a chord with our readers.  Though she has been interviewed and featured in many other publications, she chose to share the most intimate details of her life exclusively to ESSENCE as we journeyed with her from the U.S. Olympic training center in Colorado Springs to Qinhuangdao, China for the Olympic trials and back to her hometown of Flint, Michigan. She wasn't dealt an easy hand in life. Raised by a single mother, sexually abused by a family acquaintance at age 5, and growing up in an environment that would break someone of lesser strength, Claressa took all that was bad in her life and turned it into gold. She truly embodies the ESSENCE spirit, and for that we salute her."

Claressa Shields is the only U.S. Gold Medalist in Boxing at the 2012 London Olympics and she competed during the first games – 40 years after Title IX – in which female boxers have been allowed to compete.

The August issue of ESSENCE magazine features an exclusive, in-depth profile of Claressa Shields.  The article, entitled, "Undefeated", chronicles her troubling childhood and hard-fought battles against abuse on the road to Olympic Gold.


Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club,, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 42 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at