What is acceptable behavior for women and girls?
body of work
I forged an unprecedented collaboration between The New York Times, NPR and WNYC to document the first women to box in the Olympics in radio, photography and film.
At the last Olympic qualifier, a quiet 16 year old girl scored a TKO in the first round. She was so unrestrained — so dominant. It was Claressa’s first fight against adult women. No one had seen her box before. I teamed up with Radio Diaries and we gave Claressa a recorder and mic to document her attempts to make the Olympic team. (Teen Contender/NPR - Peabody Award winner). The stakes were so high, she was this kid from Flint with an oversized dream and everything was against her. It was so clear that her story needed to be a film, too. But the Olympics were coming up fast and I’d never made a film before.
I had the great fortune of meeting filmmakers Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper and we teamed up to follow Claressa. We filmed for 18 months, from Claressa’s 17th birthday through her high school graduation, and then some. In between she had her first loss, won the gold medal, fell in love, split with Coach Jason, and learned how to maintain her balance through it all.
I followed Claressa to the 2016 Rio Olympics where she won a second gold medal: