Boxer from a Slum in Haiti Is Invited to Participate in the Peace Games
By Dialogo July 05, 2011
In order to participate in the Military World Games, an athlete needs to be a member of the Armed Forces of his or her country of origin. However, an exception has been granted for this 5th edition.
Haitian boxer Evens Pierre was invited by the Organizing Committee to compete in the Rio 2011 Games, even though his country of origin does not maintain an official military force. The organizers decided to invite him because he has used sports to help young people affected by violence.
Born in one of the most violent slums in Haiti, “Cité Soleil,” on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Pierre saw in sports the chance to have a different destiny than the majority of people who grow up amid violence and poverty. After losing his home in the 2010 earthquake, the athlete continued to train with determination, thanks to the support of members of the Brazilian military.
In Panama, with transportation offered by the Brazilian Army, the boxer became the Central American champion, winning the World Boxing Association (WBA) belt in the featherweight category, up to 61 kg. “My victories here serve to demonstrate to people that trading punches is better than trading bullets,” the boxer said.
Even without an adequate ring, the fighter is not discouraged and aspires to serve as a role model for thousands of Haitian children. In an interview with Rede Globo television last year, Pierre showed his potential for influence in that part of the country.