“I wanted to let people know and let it be remembered that I am the two-time Olympic gold medalist,” Shields, 21, said on “Good Morning America” today of why she proudly help up her gold medal from London four years ago alongside her shiny new bling in Rio.
“I won the Olympics when I was 17, I won the Olympics when I was 21. This is not a game, this is not a joke. I can really fight,” she added.
“I train hard and I got both my gold medals. It was a surprise for everybody, though. I even shocked myself when I pulled it out.”
Shields’ historic win didn’t come without its challenges, though. In between the London Olympic Games and the Rio Olympic games, she went an entire year without a coach.
“The separation of my coach, Jason Crutchfield … it taught me to be stronger by myself,” she explained.
“I went without a coach for one year where I was just training myself. And 2014 is when I decided we’ll go and make this quest for the Olympic Games, and I had just won a world championship and I did that training on my own,” she recalled.
“So to get that 2016 Olympics and have all the support that I had was great, and I’m glad that I did it and, you know, maybe 2020, who knows.”
The Flint, Michigan, native now hopes to inspire younger children to know they can follow in her successful footsteps.
“Those kids who are like me and come from a similar background, to tell them that they can make it,” she said. “I want to start a few programs where I go and I speak and we actually have places for the kids to come. It’s not like an after-school program, but a program where they learn how to navigate their life out of school.”