FIGHTING CUBA'S BOXING BAN
By Emily Rhyne March 23, 2017
In 2016, thirty-six female boxers competed at the Summer Olympics, in
Rio. It was only the second time that women had competed in the sport in
the Olympic Games, but already twenty-five countries, including boxing
powerhouses such as the United States and Russia, were represented. One
country known for its boxing program was absent: Cuba. Though the small
island nation won six medals in boxing during the 2016 Games, the
government bans women from competing in the sport.
So it is heartening to see Luis Pérez, a state-employed boxing coach in
Havana, take on a thirteen-year-old girl named Hatzumy Carmenate as his
student. Carmenate's father was her first coach, but when he moved to
the United States Pérez stepped in to help. "In Cuba, the coaches are
like fathers to the kids," Pérez said. Carmenate hopes one day to
reunite with her father in the United States and continue her training
"Fighting Cuba's Boxing Ban" captures the relationship between a coach
and his unlikely boxer. The film also trains its camera on Havana at a
moment when relations between the United States and Cuba are slowly
improving. For now, Carmenate is the only girl in her boxing school.
But, as Cuba opens up more to outside influence, Pérez hopes that the
ban on female boxing will be lifted.
Source: Fighting Cuba's Boxing Ban - The New Yorker -
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