2011-07-21

Disability Is Not A Difficulty In Suriname

Soldier Thakoer lost by knockout to Italian Vittorio Parrinello Jahyn (blue), who is favored to win his weight class. (Rafael Moraes / photocamera)

Soldier Thakoer lost by knockout to Italian Vittorio Parrinello Jahyn (blue), who is favored to win his weight class. (Rafael Moraes / photocamera)

Cândido Henrique Silva

A motorcycle accident 20 years ago caused Captain Remy Burke of Suriname to lose the use of his right arm, but not his willingness to practice boxing and karate. He has videos posted on the Internet displaying his tenacity (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SKw-1veeOI) and challenges any boxer.

“When I crashed, I thought, I’ll never do anything productive. I boxed and I loved it. But over time I saw that I could still be what I have always been and so I continued my training. Today, I challenge anyone to a fight,” he said.

Captain Burke’s speech shows his vitality and strength to overcome obstacles. He also tries to apply that in the ring. At 47, Burke is the coach of the Suriname military boxing team. One of his pupils, Thakoer Guillermo, 22, fought on Wednesday (22) in the 56kg weight class, but lost.

Although far from being the result he wanted, Burke celebrated the participation of Suriname in the competition. “After 30 years we returned to compete in a military boxing tournament. This of course is a great accomplishment,” said the coach.

In addition to training, Burke is sort of also an adviser to his men. “He’s a great coach. He teaches me a lot. I am grateful for his work,” said Thakoer.

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