Jump to content

Clarissa Shields Olympic Gold Medalist Talks about Her Abuse


Recommended Posts

In this article Clarissa talks about her very difficult childhood and ultimately about her repeated abuse:

"A turning point came when she spent a week at her Aunt Mary's home. When it was time to go home, Shields pleaded not to be made to go. Her aunt asked what was wrong. Shields was reluctant to say because if her own mother didn't believe her, why would anyone else? She just wanted to stay where it was safe.

Her aunt knew something was seriously wrong, so she gently quizzed her niece. And slowly, Claressa let it slip.

She couldn't vocalize exactly what it was, but made her points when Aunt Mary handed her a baby doll and asked her to show her what the men did to her.

Her aunt told her mother, but Shields said it still didn't resonate with her mother. Before long, Shields was shipped off to live with her grandmother.

In her grandmother, she found a friend, a confidante, a sympathetic ear."

also about how she took custody of her cousin's baby after the 2012 Olympics:

"Her cousin, whom she refers to as "Remmi Savage," had two children when she became pregnant with a third. But she didn't want the baby. She was trying to have an abortion. She needed roughly $500, but didn't have it.

She approached Shields.

"I told her I didn't believe in abortion and so I wasn't giving her any money to do that," Shields said.

The cousin, though, didn't give up. She cobbled together $400 and met with Shields one more time, pleading for the final $100.

At that point, Shields made her a proposition.

"I really wanted a baby myself and I wanted to have one when I turned 18 right after I won the Olympics [in 2012]," she said. "But if it would have happened, it would have messed up my body going into the 2016 Olympics. I couldn't get pregnant because of that. So I said to her, 'You have the baby, and I'll adopt her.' "

Shockingly, her cousin agreed. Shields took custody of the child and began raising her as her own. She said she's in the process of a formal adoption, though she hasn't completed the process yet.

But she has had Klaressa living with her, and on days when she couldn't find a baby sitter, she’s skipped going to the gym to train and worked out in her home.

"I'd shadow box for an hour-and-a-half with the baby right there," she said.

Being responsible for a young life gave Shields an epiphany of sorts. She thought of the woman she'd heard speak at the University of Michigan-Flint. She recalled her own difficult childhood. She looked at her baby.

And she knew more than anything that she didn't want what happened to her to ever happen to anyone else.

Shields knew she couldn't completely prevent that, but she also knew that her story could serve as motivation for others who might feel trapped, helpless and have nowhere to turn. She decided to present her story to the world."

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this, I just read the full article. What an incredibly strong lady. Adopting a child at 19 is amazing in any case, but while being an Olympic athlete..wow. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Most Recent Topics

  • Latest Comments

    • Here is a 6 minute audio wherein a I phrase the argument speaking in terms of Thailand's Muay Femeu and Spinoza's Ethics.    
    • Leaving aside the literary for a moment, the relationship between "techniques" and style (& signature) is a meaningful one to explore, especially for the non-Thai who admires the sport and wishes to achieve proficiency, or even mastery. Mostly for pedagogic reasons (that is, acute differences in training methods, along with a culture & subjectivity of training, a sociological thread), the West and parts of Asia tend to focus on "technical" knowledge, often with a biomechanical emphasis. A great deal of emphasis is put on learning to some precision the shape of the Thai kick or its elbow, it's various executions, in part because visually so much of Thailand's Muay Thai has appeared so visually clean (see: Precision – A Basic Motivation Mistake in Some Western Training). Because much of the visual inspiration for foreign learned techniques often come from quite elevated examples of style and signature, the biomechanical emphasis enters just on the wrong level. The techniques displayed are already matured and expressed in stylistics. (It would be like trying to learn Latin or French word influences as found in Nabakov's English texts.) In the real of stylistics, timing & tempo, indeed musicality are the main drivers of efficacy. Instead, Thais learn much more foundational techniques - with far greater variance, and much less "correction" - principally organized around being at ease, tamachat, natural. The techne (τέχνη), the mechanics, that ground stylistics, are quite basic, and are only developmentally deployed in the service of style (& signature), as it serves to perform dominance in fights. The advanced, expressive nature of Thai technique is already woven into the time and tempo of stylistics. This is one reason why the Muay Thai Library project involves hour long, unedited training documentation, so that the style itself is made evident - something that can even have roots in a fighter's personality and disposition. These techne are already within a poiesis (ποίησις), a making, a becoming. Key to unlocking these basic forms is the priority of balance and ease (not biomechanical imitations of the delivery of forces), because balance and ease allow their creative use in stylistics.
    • To help in greater theoretical discussion, The Magician's Doubt's parsing of signature from style. In my discussion above the uses of a fighter's style perhaps would be best understood as a blending of both Michael Wood's "style" and "signature" below:
  • The Latest From Open Topics Forum

    • Hi, this might be out of the normal topic, but I thought you all might be interested in a book-- Children of the Neon Bamboo-- that has a really cool Martial Arts instructor character who set up an early Muy Thai gym south of Miami in the 1980s. He's a really cool character who drives the plot, and there historically accurate allusions to 1980s martial arts culture. However, the main thrust is more about nostalgia and friendships.    Can we do links? Childrenoftheneonbamboo.com Children of the Neon Bamboo: B. Glynn Kimmey: 9798988054115: Amazon.com: Movies & TV      
    • Davince Resolve is a great place to start. 
    • I see that this thread is from three years ago, and I hope your journey with Muay Thai and mental health has evolved positively during this time. It's fascinating to revisit these discussions and reflect on how our understanding of such topics can grow. The connection between training and mental health is intricate, as you've pointed out. Finding the right balance between pushing yourself and self-care is a continuous learning process. If you've been exploring various avenues for managing mood-related issues over these years, you might want to revisit the topic of mental health resources. One such resource is The UK Medical Cannabis Card, which can provide insights into alternative treatments.
    • Phetjeeja fought Anissa Meksen for a ONE FC interim atomweight kickboxing title 12/22/2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu92S6-V5y0&ab_channel=ONEChampionship Fight starts at 45:08 Phetjeeja won on points. Not being able to clinch really handicapped her. I was afraid the ref was going to start deducting points for clinch fouls.   
    • Earlier this year I wrote a couple of sociology essays that dealt directly with Muay Thai, drawing on Sylvie's journalism and discussions on the podcast to do so. I thought I'd put them up here in case they were of any interest, rather than locking them away with the intention to perfectly rewrite them 'some day'. There's not really many novel insights of my own, rather it's more just pulling together existing literature with some of the von Duuglus-Ittu's work, which I think is criminally underutilised in academic discussions of MT. The first, 'Some meanings of muay' was written for an ideology/sosciology of knowledge paper, and is an overly long, somewhat grindy attempt to give a combined historical, institutional, and situated study of major cultural meanings of Muay Thai as a form of strength. The second paper, 'the fighter's heart' was written for a qualitative analysis course, and makes extensive use of interviews and podcast discussions to talk about some ways in which the gendered/sexed body is described/deployed within Muay Thai. There's plenty of issues with both, and they're not what I'd write today, and I'm learning to realise that's fine! some meanings of muay.docx The fighter's heart.docx
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      1.3k
    • Total Posts
      11k
×
×
  • Create New...