FLINT, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – Boxer Claressa Shields has been welcomed home by family, friends and hundreds of fans in Flint after winning her second Olympic gold medal.
The 21-year-old Shields arrived Tuesday at Bishop International Airport sporting the medal she won Sunday at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the one she won in the 2012 London Games.READ MORE: The Detroit Zoo To Host Its Final Weekend Of Family-Friendly Halloween Event 'Zoo Boo' Oct. 22-24
Saying the journey to Rio was ‘way different’ than the path she took four years ago in London – Shields was emotional when she spoke of her gold win.
“I’m just thankful … it was so hard to get there. I moved out of Flint last year to Colorado Springs and I haven’t seen my mom in three months – and I just seen her today,” she said.READ MORE: Tillson Street's Halloween Displays Draws Thousands
Shields became the first American boxer of either gender to win two Olympic boxing gold medals.
The middleweight, told supporters Tuesday that she “carried” them in her “spirit” during the recent games and that she tried to knock her last opponent out for her fans back home.
Telling the crowd gathered that she loves the city of Flint — and that she’ll always be available for a picture or to talk about her journey — if asked. “I’ve been working and waiting a long time.”MORE NEWS: Kalamazoo Tests For Lead Exposure Following High-Lead Level Reports In Other Michigan Cities
She also asked that residents come together to beat a lead-tainted water crisis that started when the city switched in 2014 from Detroit’s system to the Flint River.