London has not been kind to the U.S. men's boxing team.
In a disappointing fashion, the men have been completely eliminated from the Olympic tournament and no longer have the chance to even earn a medal this year. On the other hand, the U.S. women's team can proudly boast the opposite, after phenomenal performances by Claressa Shields and Marlen Esparza clinched gold and bronze medals.
This year marks the first time that women's boxing was added to the Olympics, with the U.S. showing immediate success.
Esparza became the first American woman to medal in boxing after earning the bronze in the women's flyweight division. The 23-year-old Texas native is an experienced boxer and already attained success before to the London Olympics.
Esparza began her boxing career in 2002 and quickly earned bronze at the 2006 Women's World Boxing Championship. Two years later, she tasted even more success and snatched gold at the 2008 Pan American Games.
Despite a promising Olympic debut, for now, Esparza has called it quits and is planning to pass on participating in the 2016 games. Her final boxing match ended in a loss to China's three-time Women's World Champion and the eventual Olympic silver medalist, Ren Cancan.
Following Esparza's bronze medal, the spotlight quickly shifted over to 17-year-old Clarissa Shields. In a matchup where her opponent was nearly twice her age, Shields defeated the veteran Nadezhda Torlopova of Russia to become the second youngest boxer to earn an Olympic medal.
Shields's middleweight Olympic title win earned her the only gold medal among the U.S. men's and women's boxing team. The Flint, Mich., native's win not only earned her immediate success, but it will also hopefully bring back a winning attitude for the U.S. boxing team.
Shields ecstatically raised her hands to a cheering crowd after the final score of 19-12 was announced.
"It feels great and unbelievable; I don't know if this real right now," said Shields. "This is something I wanted for a long time. Even when my life wasn't going alright, I always wanted a gold medal."
At such a young age, Shields is set on improving her boxing skills and remaining a major force in the sport. Shields also shows loyalty and selflessness -- two attributes that are often overlooked in a sport that centers around over-the-top egos.
"It's always dedicated to Flint, 'cause that's where I'm from," said Shields. "And I feel that USA needs it. I'm just glad that somebody got a gold medal."
The U.S. women's boxing team has much to look forward to with Shields' dedication and spirit leading the way in the 2016 Olympics.