Children's Mercy

The Sports Medicine team at Children’s Mercy joined up with WIN for KC to honor Claire Tietgen’s anti-bullying work.


Youth sports girl of the year

Claire Tietgen is a strong, confident special needs 13-year-old who will eagerly tell you how much weight she can squat or how excited she is to start high school. But, that wasn’t always the case.

Rewind just a few short years, and Claire was at the lowest point in her life. Devastated and broken from years of intense bullying, Claire felt like she wanted to die.

After finding suicide notes in her room and diary, Claire’s parents took action. Her dad enrolled her in a class at Brass Boxing and Fitness. After just one class, Claire and her parents noticed a change. 

Claire immediately took to the moves and quickly learned how strong she was. Her confidence skyrocketed. She took control of her life and became an anti-bullying advocate. 

Today, Claire has won 11 gold medals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, she’s joined her school’s wrestling team and has three state power lifting records. She speaks at local schools and churches about anti-bullying measures. Claire started a campaign for celebrities to share their experiences with bullying, and she started a scholarship fund that helps kids get access to sports.

WIN for KC, a division of the Kansas City Sports Commission, empowers women and girls through sports and fitness. They hold an annual banquet and fundraiser that recognizes local female athletes in one of the largest events in the nation to celebrate women’s achievements. Keynote speaker at the event Jackie Joyner-Kersee imparted this message to the audience, “Win when you can win.” No matter what happens just keep chasing your dreams and never give up.

Try brazilian jiu-jitsu like claire!