U.S. Olympian Says She’ll Use Her Fame To ‘Tell My Story’ About God

August 22nd, 2016 3:51 PM

Olympians aren’t just champions in their public lives: they’re winners in their personal lives too.

U.S. Olympian boxer Claressa Shields recently appeared on Good Morning America to discuss her historic gold medal win in Rio and reveal her inspiration: God.

On Monday, ABC anchor Amy Robach interviewed the 21-year-old from Flint, Michigan “making history” as the “first American Olympian to win two gold medals” back-to-back in boxing.

“Part of your mission is to inspire others, to help others,” Robach began, “tell me how you're going to do that now with your two gold medals?” 

Shields pointed to God for her answer.

“With the platform that I have now, I'm just going to, you know, tell – tell people my story and tell them how, you know, my story involved God helping me get to where I got,” she explained, “and how me being – being faithful to God helped me be where I am and train hard and put my body through all that hard work and still be able to smile about it afterward and not be bitter about it.” 

And Shields has a lot she could be bitter about besides just training: growing up with a father in prison, a mother suffering from drug problems and men sexually abusing her.

Shields also wanted to use her fame to help others like her with “similar backgrounds” by “tell[ing] them that they can make it.”

“I want to start a few programs where, you know, I go and I speak and we actually have places for the kids to come,” she said. “It's not like an after-school program. More of like a program to where they learn how to navigate their life out of school, you know what I mean?”

Robach applauded Shields, “[Y]ou are the perfect role model for that, Claressa.”

Claressa joins several other American Olympians, including the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, in speaking out about her faith.