The principal sports in Haiti is soccer. However, many Haitian play basketball, volley ball as well as many other sports.
Haitian Pierre Francois wants to compete at 2015 Pan Am Games (PAG) in Toronto. He has been working with his coach, Pete Charles, at Lehman College. Although at six foot three, with natural athleticism and strength that will bring him farther into the triple jump pit, he still needs a masterful technique to develop consistency during competitive jumping rounds.
Francois's journey to the precipice of the PAG began uncertainly in Haiti, where as a boy he took a natural liking to running and jumping in the hilly slopes around his neighborhood. But his sights were set on playing soccer. However, no soccer leagues existed in those days, and only pickup games could be played. At the age of 15, fate intervened when his father decided on a move to New York, which opened up a world of opportunities for Francois in the Bronx. He learned the triple jump at DeWitt Clinton High School, during which he set a new record for the triple jump.
As FIFA Soccer World Cup comes closer to the finals, Haitians enthusiastically watch their favorite's - Argentina and Brazil - as if Haitians themselves were fighting for this year's title. Capital Port-au-Prince and the entire country for that matter is now decorated with Brazilian and Argentinean flags, by supporters that are ready to put any other activity on hold when a game of any of the favorite teams takes place.
"I am Brazilian, but my brother is Argentine" states proudly one of the fans, as if he really was in fact a citizen of the country that is his favorite, in this year's World Cup.
The retired football legend from Argentina, Diego Armando Maradona, brought strong criticism to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and its policies. The issue started due to FIFA charging Haiti $2 million for the rights of broadcasting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Although the Haitian team has not been involved in the World Cup since 1974, when the Haitian team returned home after the very first round of the tournament, most of the Haitians are great fans of Argentina and of Brazil.
As this was the price to be paid, the government had to make it happen and find the $2 million. Otherwise the Haitians would have been kept away from their most dear competition of the year. Haiti has just been taken out of the list of countries that it is recommended not to travel to. It is trying to rebuild its economy and the political party that rules, tries to maintain a policy of popularity among Haitians.
Haitian-American boxer, Al Sands, also known as the Haitian Temptation, kept his cruiserweight title by whopping Harvey Kilfian in an eighth-round TKO. Sands prevailed during the first three rounds, pummeling his opponent to the ground. But Kilfian rebounded in subsequent rounds, managing to knock Sands down. It was a career moment for Kilfian, for it had been only the second time he was able to get the better of the Haitian boxer.
The Haitian Temptation Al Sands is a strapping 6'2", well-built, and quick on his feet. The Kilfian match helped to improve his stats, now an impressive 9-1. People in Minnesota are fascinated with the persona Sands has created for himself, promoting his hunky looks with the ring name the Haitian Temptation.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and its affiliate, South Florida's Miami Heat, have launched a kids' recreation center, devoted to technology and academics. Called the NBA Cares Learn and Play Center (LPC), it is housed in Little Haiti Cultural Complex. The rec center project falls within the NBA Cares program, committed to offering youngsters a welcoming environment where they can play and learn what their interests in life are. NBA big-wigs, past and present players, cheerleaders, and students came out for the grand opening ceremonies.
The play center in Little Haiti is a state-of-the-art space, devoted to technology, academics, and entertainment. It will be equipped with the latest technology: big-screen TVs, laptops, printers, and tablets. A reading corner will be available, with an inventory of books and a slew of children's games. The NBA has partnered with State Farm and Samsung to remodel the play space. To the kids' amazement the space is done up in a Miami Heat theme.
Little Haiti Football Club was this weekend visited by David Beckham, who is a world renowned British soccer star. The little kids in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood were not expecting this visit. However, it has been a great morale boost for these Haitian kids who play soccer and have big dreams of becoming professional players the US Major League Soccer (MLS).
Beckham was accompanied by various aides in his visit in Little Haiti where they practiced with the kids. The little kids were surprised and the play had to stop at once when the kids realised that a 'visitor' was on the pitch playing with them.One of the kids contended that it was a dream come true for him, after realising that Beckham was on the field playing with them.
Despite the fact that Haitians have only participated in the World Cup once, in 1940, the country had already been in football fever even before it kicked off in Brazil. The country has been devastation and the majority of the population still languish in poverty, but this has been kept aside by upcoming football extravaganza.
This fever can well be observed in different ways in the capital,Port-au-Prince. Haitian supporters of the Brazilian football team. One can see different flags of the participating teams in the tournament being peddled by vendors in different shapes and sizes along the streets.
Haitian-American Hip-Hop artist, Wyclef Jean, has been chosen by Sony Music to perform the official anthem at the closing ceremonies of the Brazil FIFA World Cup of 2014. He came to prominence as part of the Fugees during the 1980s, with their second release, The Score, which sold 6,000,000 copies.
Jean spent his early years in Haiti, but his family moved to New Jersey while he was still in grade school. He attended college fitfully, before he finally completed his education at Berklee College of Music.
By the late 1990s, he broke with the Fugees to start his solo career. He made music history playing alongside Shakira in her video, Hips Don't Lie, which was the biggest monster hit of the new millennium. He also composed the sound track for the documentary, The Agronomist.
As the country begins to ramp up on its football interest and on various related projects, those in the diaspora also would join in the action--at least those of the Haitian community in North Miami who were slated to meet one of football's biggest names.
David Beckham, former captain of the England football team and retired footballer, met with former mayor of North Miami, Andre Pierre and Ed Lozama, as well as members of the community in one of the city's well-known parks.
Keeping the visit light and informal, Beckham, known almost as much for his dress sense as his footballing skills, came only in t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap, happy to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
It doesn't matter whether or not you can't go to Brazil to watch the 2014 World Cup Soccer final between the two best teams Argentine and Germany. Haiti will be officially represented. Our own president Michel Martelly will be present at the final game.
President Michel Martelly will be in Brazil on Sunday (July 13, 2014) for the final match of the 2014 World Cup between Argentina and Germany. The game will be held at Maracana Stadium.
There are many other heads of states who will also be present at the game, including: Vladimir Putin, the Presidents of Russia, Jacob Zuma, president of South Africa, János Áder of Hungary. Also, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, the President of China.
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