News / USA

US Football Star Garçon Shines Light Back on Haiti

Multimedia

Audio

The Super Bowl is American football's biggest game of the year.  One big star in Sunday's game is likely to be Indianapolis Colts' receiver Pierre Garçon, whose parents came to the United States from Haiti.  Since the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, Garçon has used his newfound stardom to raise attention to Haiti's needs since the disaster.  

The lead up to Sunday's Super Bowl is a frenzy of media attention on the top two teams, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.  Star players endure hours of interviews, talking about their football background and their preparation for the big game.

Colts receiver Pierre Garçon is enjoying his moment in the spotlight.  But he also wants to remind people about Haiti, and its struggle to rebuild following a devastating earthquake.

"Haiti has given me extra motivation, but every time I play I try to do my best," said Garçon.

Garçon was born in the United States and grew up playing football not far from the Miami stadium hosting this year's Super Bowl.  He retains a strong link to the homeland of his parents, and carries the nation's flag after crucial football victories.  When news broke about the January 12 quake, he was shocked.

"Just, an earthquake in Haiti is not something you hear about every day.  It was hard for me to believe," he added.

Garçon was relieved to learn his relatives were unharmed.  Since then, he has been drawing attention to the needs of tens of thousands of Haitians who lost their homes and relatives in the disaster.  One of his goals is to raise $150,000 to help a missionary group in northwest Haiti.

"They have been helping people for 10 to 15 years now and we teamed up.  We are trying to bring more help to Haiti really," he explained.

Garçon is among a small group of NFL players of Haitian descent.  The quake has brought them together even across football rivalries.  Garçon will face off Sunday against the New Orleans Saints and Jonathan Vilma, who also has family in Haiti.

"I was fortunate to hear that my family was OK, that night the earthquake hit," said Vilma.  "So that was a relief.  I was able to put it to the side a bit, focus on football.  I can do that until the season is over with."

For Garçon, it has been a challenge to put aside his concerns about Haiti, and focus on football and the most important game of his career,  but he has a simple message to Haitians.

"We are coming, we are coming to help.  Stay strong, hold on.  We will be there soon," added Garçon.

Win or lose on Sunday, Garçon says he plans to return to Haiti in April and offer help to the battered country.

You May Like

Asian Stocks Plunge on Weak Factory Activity

Official survey finds China’s manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest pace in three years More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs