Teen Contender

Sixteen-year-old Claressa Shields has a dream, to be at the 2012 Olympic finals and hear the announcer call out, "The first woman Olympian boxer at 165 pounds - Claressa Shields!"

2012 / Joe Richman / Samara Freemark / Sue Jaye Johnson / NPR's All Things Considered, USA


Sixteen-year-old Claressa Shields has a dream, to be at the 2012 Olympic finals and hear the announcer call out, "The first woman Olympian boxer at 165 pounds - Claressa Shields!"

But first, Shields, a high school student and middleweight boxer from Flint, Michigan, has to qualify for the team. At the Olympic trials, Shields boxes against women who are almost a decade older and much more experienced. But Shields has beaten the odds before.

Teen Contender won the Best Documentary: Gold Award in the 2012 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. The story was produced by Joe Richman, Sue Jaye Johnson and Samara Freemark, with narrator Claressa Shields, and edited by Deborah George and Ben Shapiro, for Radio Diaries and NPR's All Things Considered.

Listen to all nine winners of the 2012 TC/RHDF Competition, here.NPR's All Things ConsideredUSAJoe RichmanSue Jaye JohnsonSamara FreemarkJoe, Sue, Claressa, Samara


produced by

Joe Richman

Joe Richman (@RadioDiaries) is a Peabody Award-winning producer and reporter and the founder of Radio Diaries, a non-profit organization.

Samara Freemark

Samara Freemark (@sfreemark) is the Senior Producer of In the Dark , an investigative podcast from APM Reports, and a reporter with its documentary unit.

Sue Jaye Johnson

Sue Jaye Johnson is an award-winning independent journalist and producer.


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