Rio Gold Medalists Ashleigh Johnson and Clareesa Shields Become Sportswomen of the Year

On Wednesday night, two young women who made Olympic history — one by becoming the first American boxer to win two consecutive gold medals, and the other for being the first African American woman to compete in water polo – were recognized as Sportswomen of the Year.

Ashleigh Johnson is the first and only black woman to compete in water polo. After receiving the award from the Women's Sports Foundation, she tells espnW, "It was definitely a perfect ending to all the work and effort and sacrifices we made in the past one and a half years." As a senior at Princeton University, Johnson hopes to lead the Tigers to the NCAA tournament next spring.

Clareesa Shields is the first American boxer to win back-to-back gold medals with a superhuman record of 77-1. She is currently training in Florida and deciding whether she wants to go pro or stay amateur for Tokyo 2020. But even though Shields' record is higher than most men's, she says, "I'm not done yet. I have this hunger to do more and get women's boxing on the course of being respected by everybody."

NEXT: Female Athletes Who Overcame Adversity While Making Olympic History »

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