Thursday, August 9, 2012
Too real for NBC's primetime spot, Claressa Shields obtains her gold
From Flint, Michigan hails the new queen of boxing, 17-year-old Claressa Shields. Young Claressa won her semi-final match with flair and ease on Wednesday; and on the following day she won the gold in the same fashion in a 19-12 beating of Russia's Nadesda Torlopova. Since the age of 11, Claressa has worked out everyday in Flint's F.W.C. Berston Fieldhouse. There were no other girls in the ring training with Claressa; there were only boys. They were the same boys with whom she sparred, and they were the same boys that gave Claressa the confidence she needed to beat women twice her age on the biggest stage in the world.
Yet, there was little mentioning of Claressa's story on NBC's major network. Most of the stories centered upon Lolo Jone's falling out of medal contention in 2008, or South African's Oscar Pistorius, you know...the guy who runs with no legs. Both are very good stories; however neither athlete won an Olympic medal. I suppose that Claressa's story is a bit "too real" for NBC. Her story deals with growing up in poverty in a city with a near 10% unemployment rate. Her story deals with a father who has been in and out of prison since she could remember. Her story is about being raised by family members, and none being her parents. Her story is about a teenager who is entering her senior year of high school. Her story is about being a role model to every child and teenager in a struggling city. Her story is about a young woman who has taken on challenges and overcame. Her story is about being the first gold medal winner in the sport of women's boxing. Claressa Shields has many stories in her young seventeen years of living; however, at this time, it's one that NBC feels is not desiring enough for it's primetime type of viewers.