Watch party held for Flint-native in Olympic boxing quarterfinal - WNEM TV 5

Watch party held for Flint-native in Olympic boxing quarterfinals

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

She won Gold in London and now she’s hoping to go back to back in Rio.

Flint-native Claressa Shields was in the boxing quarterfinals on Wednesday. She took on Russia’s Yaroslava Yakushina.

Shields will move on to the semi-finals to take on the winner between Kazakhstan and Morocco on Friday.

"We need something to cheer about," said Tom Kylya, Flint resident.

He said his city needs more people like Shields. Kylya attended a watch party for Shields as she competed again Yakushina.

"It's so good to hear something good and positive out of Flint," Kylya said.

Community leaders and people from all across the state went to Blackstones on Wednesday to watch Shields' match.

Mayor Karen Weaver said she hopes this shows people that with hard work it is possible to overcome adversity.

"Well, I hope she is an inspiration to young people and adults as well. And let people know that no matter what's going on, if you stay focused and you believe in yourself, you can make things happen," Weaver said.

Shields attributes her success to working hard to overcome adversity and a difficult childhood.

Spencer Rue-Seggar hosted the watch party at Blackstones. He said he couldn't be more proud of his hometown hero.

"It's unreal. It's awesome that she is from Flint. A super positive thing for the community and with the bad things that we have had in the past," Rue-Seggar said.

Shields has only lost one fight in her boxing career so far.

Kylya said he knows Shields is determined to win.

"Claressa will do it good for us," he said.

Another watch party was held at the Berston Field House, where Shields started her boxing career.

"She never gave up. She always pushed herself to the limit," said Garrett Rice, boxer at the gym.

Boxing Coach Ed Kendall knows how important positive role models are to children. He said Shields was inspired as a youngster herself by other female boxing greats. He hopes her triumph encourages others from Flint to give it all they got.

"It's really big, especially for the youth coming up. They look up to her. She started down here and we have a lot of kids that come through after hr and they are like, if she can do it we can do it," Kendall said.

Rice said he's hopeful he will follow in Shields' footsteps, but he knows the road there isn't easy.

"Running four miles every morning, then come down here, train for two hours. There is a lot you have to do to bring back gold," Rice said.

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