INDIANA BLACK EXPO WILL HONOR OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL BOXER CLARESSA SHIELDS AS
2016 MAJOR TAYLOR AWARD RECIPIENT DURING CIRCLE CITY CLASSIC®
Olympics | US Boxer Claressa Shields Discusses Rio Gold Medal (click on image)
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Black Expo, Inc. announced today that Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields will receive this year’s Major Taylor Award at the Circle City Classic NCAA Coaches Luncheon presented by the Indianapolis Colts. One of the main events of the 33rd annual Circle City Classic weekend, the luncheon will take place on Friday, September 23 at 11 a.m. at the Westin Hotel. The Circle City Classic® game features a rematch between the Central State University Mauraders and the Thorobreds of Kentucky State University at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, September 24.
Shields is the first U.S. woman to win a gold medal in boxing. She won the gold in Women’s Middleweight Boxing at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which made her the first American boxer, male or female, to win an Olympic title twice in a row.
The Major Taylor Award is presented in honor of Marshall “Major” Taylor, the prominent Indianapolis cyclist. Since its inception in 1987, the award has been presented to African-American athletes, coaches, athletic administrators and officials who not only make a significant local and national contribution to youth but also encourage excellence in future generations. This year, Jones will join such past recipients as Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Muhammad Ali and Tony Dungy.
Shields was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and was introduced to boxing by her father, Bo Shields, who had boxed in underground league. Bo was in prison from the time Shields was two years old, and released when she was nine. After his release he talked to her about boxer Laila Ali, piquing her interest in the sport, although Bo nevertheless believed that boxing was a men’s sport and refused to allow Shields to pursue it until she was eleven. At that time she began boxing at Berston Field House in Flint, where she met her coach and trainer, Jason Crutchfield. Shields credits her grandmother with encouraging her to not accept restrictions based on her gender.
“We are excited to honor Claressa Shields as the 2016 Major Taylor Awards recipient,” said IBE President and CEO, Tanya Bell. “She is a true example of how women continue to break the glass ceiling and live their lives without boundaries.”
Previous recipients of the Major Taylor Award include: Eddie Robinson, Florence Griffith Joyner, Earl Woods, Muhammad Ali, Dominique Dawes, Tamika Catchings, Tony Dungy, Jerry Rice and George Hill.
Tickets for this year’s Circle City Classic Coaches Luncheon are $40 per person/$400 per table and can be purchased by visiting the Indiana Black Expo box office at 3145 N. Meridian St. For more information regarding the Major Taylor Award and the 33rd Annual Circle City Classic, visit www.circlecityclassic.com