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When Impossible Became Possible for Claressa Shields


During Black History Month, the WSF is proud to celebrate and honor all the incredible African-American women making waves on and off the field of play. In October 2016, we hosted our 37th Annual Salute to Women in Sports awards gala, a night where hundreds came together to salute the most accomplished women in sports and the girls they inspire. One phenomenal woman who graced our stage that evening was Claressa Shields.

Claressa recently made history at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as the first American boxer, male or female, to win back to back gold medals. We celebrated her as the evening’s individual Sportswoman of the Year.

As part of her acceptance speech, Claressa recited an original poem about the hard-work and determination that went into her making it back to the Olympics and making history by winning gold in Rio. We salute you Claressa!

“When impossible becomes possible…

The hard work in the gym brought tears to my eyes sometimes.

The pain in my body felt like I could die at times, but I kept going.

With my eyes to the sky I ask for strength, because sometimes I felt so weak within.

The word impossible was a threat to me, because I was on the urge of breaking another boundary.

Something that had never been done before, I had to tell myself go out there and have fun.

My heart pounding as I entered the ring, this was no dream, Rio 2016.

I pray to God to remove all doubt, what I was doing was impossible, that’s what everyone thought.

When impossible became possible, I couldn’t contain myself.

What a great job I had done, I thank God, myself and everyone else.

Impossible is just a word, with the word “possible” in itself,

I can, I will, I must succeed! These are the words I scream to anyone chasing a dream!”