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Haiti’s Amputee Soccer Team Headed To Amputee Football World Cup

The Haitian amputee soccer team prayed together before practice at Toyota Stadium. The team plays in this weekend’s Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico.
The Haitian amputee soccer team prayed together before practice at Toyota Stadium. The team plays in this weekend’s Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico. Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer. Courtesy of dallasnews.com

Did you know Haiti had an Amputee Soccer Team?

I didn’t either, but I’ve learned when it comes to Haiti, if I don’t seek information, there truly a lot of things I would never know. I’m no longer shocked or astounded about the things I find out anymore, I’m just happy to have the information and excited to keep up with the updates.

Good luck and congratulations to these great athletes.

According to DallasNews

Donald Renfort, a striker for the Haitian soccer team, was fiercely advancing on the opponent’s goal post when his crutch bent at the endline. Renfort passed the ball and, balancing on his right leg, quickly knocked the crutch back into place before zooming down the field.

On the sideline at the exhibition game at Toyota Stadium, teammate Mondestine Guymseau laughed and shook his head. Crutches give out too many times, but it’s OK. “You keep going,” said Guymseau, who lost his right leg in a taxi accident. Soccer has given many players on this amputee team a reason to keep going.

“In Haiti, the people don’t give love to the handicapped,” said Guymseau, 26, a defender. “But when they see us play, it is different. They see us different.”

Haiti’s national team visited North Texas this month as it prepared for the Amputee Football World Cup tournament in Mexico, which begins Sunday. This is Haiti’s second time to qualify for the Amputee World Cup. The first was shortly after the team was formed in 2010, the same year an earthquake there claimed more than 250,000 lives and left thousands more permanently injured.

Fred Sorrells of the Arlington-based International Institute of Sport, which works with the disabled, helped create the team when he was looking for a way to help after the earthquake. Sorrells has worked with the team ever since. He is making a documentary to show the dramatic change he’s seen in the players.

“The attitude many of them had coming in is that they are cursed,” he said. “To me, it’s been a blessing to see them feel like they are getting somewhere and that they are really a valuable asset to their country.”

The men see themselves as ambassadors: promoting Haiti, promoting soccer, promoting the disabled. – Continue Reading Here

Donald Renfort (left) and Mackendy Francois kept the ball moving during a practice in Frisco last week. The Haitian team’s visit included an exhibition game with the Dallas Christian College men’s soccer team.
Donald Renfort (left) and Mackendy Francois kept the ball moving during a practice in Frisco last week. The Haitian team’s visit included an exhibition game with the Dallas Christian College men’s soccer team. Photos by Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer – Courtesy of dallasnews.com
Mackendy Francois (right) hugged coach Paul Hason before he and teammates on Haiti’s national amputee soccer team practiced on one of the fields at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Friday. Area doctors have donated time and resources to help the players get new prosthetics or routine care that is not always available in Haiti.
Mackendy Francois (right) hugged coach Paul Hason before he and teammates on Haiti’s national amputee soccer team practiced on one of the fields at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Friday. Area doctors have donated time and resources to help the players get new prosthetics or routine care that is not always available in Haiti. Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer – Courtesy of dallasnews.com
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