Gold medalist Shields honored at Mich. Capitol

Gold medalist Shields honored at Mich. Capitol

Published Aug. 15, 2012 7:33 p.m. ET

Gold medalist Claressa Shields received a standing ovation Wednesday as she was honored by lawmakers at the Michigan Capitol for her pugilistic prowess in the London Olympics.

The 17-year-old boxer beat Nadezda Torlopova of Russia 19-12 to win gold in the first Olympics featuring women's boxing. The Michigan native was the only U.S. fighter to win gold at this year's games.

The high schooler acknowledged that all the attention made her a bit nervous, noting it was her first time at the state Capitol. She was greeted by state senators and guests in the Senate gallery Tuesday afternoon in Lansing, and a similar reception was planned in the House.

''It looks like a castle, it's big,'' Shields said before exploring the Senate chamber. ''I feel numb because of the cameras and stuff (that) comes with the territory.''


Shields is a junior at Flint Northwestern High School in Flint, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit. Hundreds of Flint and Genesee County residents greeted her return home Monday at Bishop International Airport.

''This is not only a victory for Flint, Michigan. This is a victory for the ages,'' said Sen. John Gleason, who represents Genesee County. ''We got the gold and this is the face of the U.S. Olympics, right here.''