T-Rex Inspires Flint Residents

Aug 18, 2016

Earlier this month, Flint residents experienced T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold in the place where it all began, Flint, Michigan.

T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold tells the coming-of-age story of boxing phenom Claressa "T-Rex" Shields. The boxing star from Flint, Michigan, was just 17 years old when she won the Olympic gold medal for women’s boxing in 2012.

“Everyone was so enthusiastic while watching the film and had some great questions for the coaches during the post discussion,” said WKAR’s Interim Director of Broadcasting and General Manager Susi Elkins.

With a nearly full house of 100 attendees, this special film screening took place at Berston Field House in Flint, home of the gym where "T-Rex" has trained since her first days in the ring, and where she teaches today.

Credit Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

“I sat back and watched the reaction of the kids, who are members of the Berston Boxing Gym, as they watched the documentary. They were in complete awe of Shields’ talent and I could see so much admiration and hope in their eyes, aspiring one day to compete on that stage,” said WKAR Current Sports Host Al Martin.

The film traces her rise as an Olympic athlete from the streets of Flint to the podium in London, and the subsequent challenges and disappointments as Claressa watches fellow athletes receive recognition and endorsements while none come forward to support her, raising questions about race, class, and gender bias. 

"It’s one thing to dream big, but it’s another to see someone who comes from where you come from, making it happen. Shields has become a blueprint for these kids,” said Martin.

(l-r) Filmmaker Zackary Canepari; Jason Crutchfield, Coach (Claressa’s Coach) of FWC Berston Boxing; and Ed “Coach Bean” Kendall, coach of FWC Berston Boxing.
Credit Amanda Pinckney / WKAR-MSU

Sitting amongst the crowd and enjoying the film once again was one of the filmmakers, Zack Canepari, who also acted as the discussion moderator. The panel included Ed “Coach Bean” Kendall, coach of FWC Berston Boxing and Jason Crutchfield, Coach ( Claressa’s Coach) of FWC Berston Boxing.

“All in all, we were very happy to be able to take this Indie Lens Pop-Up event to Flint,” said Elkins.

MLive: Story of Olympic boxer Claressa Shields continues to inspire Flint community

WKAR's Flickr: Indie Lens Pop-Up

Watch T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold at video.wkar.org.