A Teenage Taekwondo fighter who used to compete with Team USA says she is barred from fighting in the Tokyo Olympics because she represents Haiti now.
Aliyah Shipman, 18, says US Olympic officials are trying to sabotage his “dream” of fighting in the Olympics by questioning his eligibility under false pretenses. The Florida resident whose great-grandfather was born in Haiti also suggested that U.S. taekwondo officials extort their Haitian counterparts in an attempt to prevent her from fighting.
In an online petition, Shipman explains that she fought with the Haitian team for most of the past two years. Shipman said she won medals fighting for the Haitian Taekwondo Federation and even competed for Haiti at an event hosted by the American Taekwondo Federation, which she says also tries to compete for Haiti. prevent participating in the Olympics.
Shipman said the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has no objection to her fighting for Haiti until she qualifies for the Olympics.
“The United States had no objection to my entering the Olympic qualifying event,” Shipman wrote on the petition.
“However,” Shipman later added, “shortly after I qualified for the Olympics, the USOC started harassing Haiti for allowing me to compete for them. They claim I can’t fight for it. Haiti because I was fighting for the United States.
Shipman said it was a break from tradition.
“This is simply not true and has no basis in the rules governing World Taekwondo. Under World Taekwondo rules – because I haven’t fought for the United States since I was 16, I’m eligible to fight for Haiti, ”Shipman wrote in the petition. “It’s a well-known fact that the United States has accomplished athletes from other countries on their team, so it’s ironic that they’re trying to stop me from competing for Haiti. “
On Monday, Shipman visited SiriusXM Urban View’s “The Clay Cane Show” and said the USOC has threatened Team Haiti with ultimatums that have humanitarian implications far beyond international sporting competitions.
“The United States is providing aid to Haiti and the Haiti Olympic Committee,” Shipman told Cane, “and they also said if they allowed me to go to the Olympics they would stop helping them. and help them.
Shipman claims she is the victim of a double standard and gave Cane the example of “a boy who did the same” for a country that was not Haiti.
“He’s 18 like me and they actually let him go and fight and they keep me from fighting,” Shipman said.
Shipman told her local media outlet WLRN in Florida that she was keenly aware of the history of the Olympics and their associated committees with black female athletes.
“Different decisions are made, banning swim caps meant for larger hairstyles,” Shipman said. “It’s a shame that they just seem racist towards biracials [women] or women of color.
Shipman’s family have hired a lawyer, but time is running out as the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to begin on Friday.
Watch Clay Cane’s full interview with Aliyah Shipman below.
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