July 14, 2016
Hometowns are personal. They’re a source of identity, inspiration, pride, and sometimes pain. Yet no matter the meaning, we’re all just a kid from somewhere – a universal truth that serves as the basis for POWERADE’s “Just a Kid” campaign.
Last week, Fast Horse had the pleasure of helping POWERADE welcome home one of the campaign’s starring athletes upon her return from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – an inspirational kid from Flint, Michigan, who just became the first-ever two-time gold-medal-winning boxer in U.S. Olympic history – none other than Claressa Shields.
For Flint, a down-on-its-luck city whose struggles past and present have been well documented, the homecoming event at Bishop International Airport meant the return of a hero. And the city showed up in full force.
First introduced by Flint mayor, Dr. Karen Weaver, who urged the city to follow the lead of the resilient champ, Claressa took the mic and delivered a heartfelt message that underscored the importance of hope and perseverance. As a once “broken kid,” the parallels between her own improbable rise to success and the city’s recovery efforts were impossible to miss.
So too was her confidence and charisma, as she alternated between sharing deeply personal, motivational anecdotes and leading the hundreds of fans, local and national media in attendance in boisterous chants.
“When I say two-time you say champ!” Two-time. CHAMP! Two-time. CHAMP!
She stayed until every last person had been given the opportunity for an interview, a selfie, an autograph or a momentary pep talk, and then proceeded to do the same at Berston Field House – the famed local gym where she and every other top “Flintstone” talent has honed their skills over the years.
For those in attendance, it was a proud reminder of the big dreams and potential that link us all, no matter where our stories begin.