Kim Clavel Boxer Worked as a Nurse During the Coronavirus
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Kim Clavel Boxer Worked as a Nurse During the Coronavirus

WBC champion Kim Clavel was about to start her first title defence in home soil before the coronavirus cancelled the event. Instead of moping, Kim donned her nursing gear and some PPE to help seniors in overwhelmed long-term care homes. She was recently recognized for the Pat Tillman Award, presented by the ESPYS to athletes who selflessly serve their community.

Quebec is a hub for Boxing

Quebecois athletes are known for their skating and skiing abilities, especially in hockey, one of the national sports of Canada.

Quebec’s lesser-known passion revolves around boxing and mixed martial arts. The first Quebec fighter to pop into mind is George St-Pierre, considered one of the greatest practitioners that the UFC has ever witnessed and by far Quebec’s most successful combatant.

Those outside of Quebec may not understand that the province is one of the last remaining strongholds that fully embraces the sweet science.

Quebec’s boxing scene has flourished for two centuries, with promoters still getting large draws for events that wouldn’t sell out in most places across the U.S. and Canada. The popularity of boxing in La Belle Province has produced a string of champions across all weight divisions, including WBC female light flyweight champion Kim Clavel.

When the biggest fight of her life landed in her own backyard, Clavel didn’t hesitate to run to the frontline to serve in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Kim Clavel Boxer

Clavel Fights Against Impossible Odds

The province of Quebec has been one of the hardest-hit regions during the COVID-19 crisis, in particular the old age homes around the Greater Montreal Area. Hospitals and CHSLD facilities were chronically underfunded, understaffed, and overpopulated, creating a situation where the coronavirus could spread quickly and rapidly. 

When it became apparent just how bad the toll would be, Premier Francois Legault put out a call to all nurses and doctors and lobbied the federal government to send the army to long-term care centres to help an overwhelmed medical system.

Before becoming the WBC female light flyweight champion, Kim Clavel earned her scrubs as a registered nurse, so she immediately suited up to help senior citizens in need.

Kim Clavel boxer stats show that she’s undefeated in the ring, but there are no decisive victories when fighting a pandemic in a long-term care home. Instead, it’s an hourly war of attrition, gradually won through consistent, painstaking, and compassionate medical work.

Clavel could’ve stayed home and focused on staying in boxing shape, especially after having her title defence cancelled and losing thousands of dollars. She went the opposite route, making it clear that her priority is serving in the fight against the outbreak.

“I’m not in fight shape, but I’m trying to stay in good enough shape that I can get back to that quickly,” Kim said. In fact, she mentioned that she’s so mentally exhausted after an early morning shift that she usually sits in her car and listens to music for a while before driving home. When she’s back home the adrenaline still courses through her veins, so she jogs before she’s able to fully unwind.

Since the outbreak, Clavel has worked at seven different CHSLD long-term care facilities around the province. Her nursing training was initially for work in a maternity ward, and working at a CHSLD requires helping people who have been isolated because of COVID-19. “We have to play nurse and psychologist at the same time,” Clavel said.

A Kim Clavel Instagram post shows energy while wearing full PPE, but the fight certainly must have been exhausting.

Kim Clavel Combat

Kim Clavel Wins Pat Tillman Award For Her Service

For those unfamiliar with the Pat Tillman story, he was a beloved NFL player who decided to put his career on hold to serve his country and paid the ultimate price. The Pat Tillman Award at the ESPYS honors athletes who perform similar acts of public duty.

"Choosing to return to the front lines of health care amid an unprecedented global pandemic, Kim personifies the spirit of service, duty and selflessness that Pat embodied," said Marie Tillman, widow of Pat Tillman and co-founder of the foundation. Clavel sacrificed time that she could’ve spent on her boxing career, instead risking exposure to COVID-19.

This is one of the highest honours given by the ESPN award show, which has grown into one of the more prestigious annual sports ceremonies over the past few years. "Just as Pat put his NFL career on hold to serve his country, I felt the same duty to serve my community. Although recently I have pursued my dream of boxing, helping people is my passion and I'm proud to be able to make a difference,” Kim said when notified of her award.

Kim Clavel Instagram

Quebec Athletes Answer the Call to Duty

Kim Clavel isn’t the only Quebecois athlete to pitch in during the coronavirus crisis. Super Bowl winner Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the first doctor to win an NFL championship, also ran towards the front line to assist people in need. Few have experienced such an incredible change in such a short time. Within a few weeks, Laurent transitioned from partying as a Super Bowl champ to fighting against a deadly disease.

Georges Laraque, one of the most fearsome enforcers the NHL has ever known, contracted a serious case of COVID-19 after delivering groceries to vulnerable members of his community. Laraque also has asthma, and required oxygen to combat the virus.

Indeed, Quebec boxers, hockey players, and football champions are among the toughest in North America, but their most impressive struggle was against the pandemic. Kim Clavel combat efforts against the coronavirus exemplify the best kind of fighting spirit.

Betting on Boxing

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