Boxing has been an Olympic sport since the time of the ancient Greeks. But only men have taken part. This year, that changes. For the first time ever, women will step into the ring to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Earlier this month, twenty-four of the United States’ best amateur women boxers fought for three spots on the Olympic team.
One of the contenders was sixteen year old Claressa Shields, a junior at Northwestern High School in Flint, Michigan. For the past few months photojournalist Sue Jaye Johnson and Radio Diaries have been following Claressa as she prepares for the Olympic trials.
Our story is a collaboration with WNYC’s Women Box, which is produced by Marianne McCune and Sue Jaye Johnson. You can learn more about women boxers and hear their amazing stories at Women Box.
See more of Sue Jaye Johnson’s work on female boxers in The New York Times Magazine.
And check out this audio slide show of Claressa, produced by Victor Lazaro and featuring photographs by Sue Jaye Johnson.