Ladypolitik (ladypolitik) wrote in ontd_political,
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ONTD_Political's PotD: November 28, 2010.


Manuel Ladouceur was buried four days under the rubble of his Uncle’s house before he was pulled out as the sole survivor. Ladouceur survived but lost his entire left arm because of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti one fateful afternoon in January. That week Ladouceur joined the ranks of hundreds of Haitians who, because they had lost a limb during the disaster, now had shaky and uncertain futures.

Now, almost exactly nine months later, Ladouceur is one of 15 amputees and disabled men chosen to travel to Argentina to represent Haiti for the first time in the country’s history in the Amputee Soccer World Cup. Hope has re-entered Ladouceur’s life and so has a sense of purpose, “when I talk with people, they don’t think that we can play soccer, but they have no way to see it… But it’s not too difficult for me or for other amputees to play, so I think that after we go to Argentina and compete, they will see that we can play.” Ladouceur said through a translator.

The soccer team was officially culled down to its current 15 in mid August, and they have been training for the Cup (scheduled to run from October 16-27) ever since. With limited supplies, including basic equipment such as cleats and shin guards, the team has met many challenges.

“I didn’t realize what a huge, tall mountain it would be to climb,” said Dr. Fred Sorrells, the president of the International Institute of Sport. Sorrells’ organization helped the team get off the ground, to the Cup itself, and it remains the team’s main financial supporter.

The rules of sport don’t differ much from traditional soccer and anyone with an amputation or a useless limb qualifies. Goal keepers always have two legs and outfielders are those on crutches.

The Haitian team, which has three earthquake victims on it, has been practicing together since August but they’ve never played a real match due to the fact that they are the only amputee soccer team in the country. This fact doesn’t dampen their spirits, though. Many of them are focused on what this new team will mean for the rest of the disabled community in their country who are often ostracized and shunned, after they return from Argentina regardless of their outcome.

Luccene Orima, the team’s captain, who had his leg amputated due to medical reasons as a child, wants to break misconceptions about people with disabilities, “most people say handicapped cannot do anything, but I have something I can do, I can play soccer.”

All photos | Leah K. Millis



Members of the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team scrimmage on a make-shift field behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 29, 2010.

The team was officially formed in mid-August when 15 players were selected to join after a few months of recruiting and try-outs. The team has been training for the Amputee World Cup which they were invited to attend after the January earthquake brought attention to a growing amputee population in the country. The Cup is being held in Argentina starting on October 16.



Jacques Frantz Cesar, 25, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, honks the nose of the head coach Andre Pacombe while waiting for word on the team's passport paperwork near the Haitian Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 1, 2010.  After a few hours the team went home in disappointment, discovering that the necessary official who needed to sign their papers was not in the office that day.



Cajuste Josue, 25, center, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, vies for the ball with Donald Renfort, 25, far right, while Josue Jean Baptiste, 31, runs in the background during a scrimmage at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 30, 2010.



From left members of the Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, Emmanuel Ladouceur, 24, Francois Mackendy, 23, and Jacques Frantz Cesar, 25, buy water from a street vendor while waiting outside the Haitian Embassy for word on their passport paperwork in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 1, 2010. None of the team members owned the passport and visa necessary to take them to the United States and then onto the Amputee World Cup in Argentina.



Goalie Ariel Valembrun, 29, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team waits for his turn to play practice at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 30, 2010. Valembrun is one of three players on the team who lost a limb in the January earthquake.



Donald Renfort, 25, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team adjusts a soccer ball prior to kicking it before practicing at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 29, 2010.



From left, players from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team Georges Cenat, Denis Gustave, and Francois Mackendy vie for the ball during a team scrimmage at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 8, 2010. Mackendy is one of three players who lost a limb in the devastating January earthquake after the T-shirt factory he was working in collapsed on him. He was trapped for a day before friends found him. Mackendy was then forced to saw off his own leg to be freed. After being recruited for the team this year, Mackendy feels he [...?... sorry for this bit guys; this blurb is missing due to an apparent copy editing error...].



From left teammates Francois Mackendy, 23, and Jonas Abel, 25, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team wait for practice to commence at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 6, 2010. The team has limited supplies, many of them can be seen playing in beat up cleats or in shoes much like Mackendy's, which is made of plastic.



Francillon Chery, center, holds onto Patrick Peronel for balance while bathing with fellow teammates Oger Lafluer, far left, and Josue Jean Baptiste, far right, after practice with the rest of the Haitian National Amputee Soccer team at Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas in Port au Prince, Haiti.



Jacques Frantz Cesar, 25, left, uses his elbow to hold a fork as he eats a lunch of spaghetti with fellow teammates from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team after practicing at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 29, 2010. When the team is able to assemble at the church for practice they typically eat one large meal a day that has been donated.



Patrick Peronel, 31, a player from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, takes a nap in a patch of sunlight before practice at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 6, 2010.



Ariel Valembrun, 29, one of the goalies from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team grimaces and yells out in pain while doing high knee exercises during practice at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 7, 2010.



Denis Gustave, 31, far right, sleeps with fellow teammates from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team while they wait for their passports to be signed at the headquarters of the Secretary of State to the Integration of Disabled Persons in Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 5, 2010. After waiting for three hours, each member was able to get their papers signed and their fingerprints made to finalize the passport process.



Goalie Emmanuel Ladouceur, 24, of the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, saves a goal with his bare hand during practice at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti October 6, 2010. Ladouceur is one of three recent amputees on the team who lost a limb due to the January earthquake. Ladouceur was trapped under rubble for four days before being pulled out. Throughout the duration of their training, the players had to deal with a serious lack of equipment including things such as gloves, proper shin guards, cleats and unbroken crutches.



Jacques Frantz Cesar, 25, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team snoozes in the car on the way back from waiting for hours near the Haitian Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for word on the team's passport paperwork October 1, 2010.



Jonas Abel, 25, far left, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, watches as teammate Francois Mackendy, 23, center, fixes a band-aid onto Jacques Frantz Cesar, 25, during practice at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 29, 2010. The team members help each other out regularly depending on each player's needs.



Denis Gustave, 31, far left, from the first ever Haiti National Amputee Soccer Team, jokes with fellow teammates during a break in the shade while practicing at a donated space behind Quisqueya Christian Chapel in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 29, 2010.


Source: "Haitian Amputee Football" | The Game/P-Blog | Denver Post
Tags: ontd_political photo of the day
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