An Agawam, Massachusetts, resident will carry the flag for Haiti during the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics on Friday. Asnage Castelly is the only member of the Haitian wrestling team.
Castelly is 37 years old, Haitian-born and has lived in the U.S. most of his life.
And when he appears on TV during the opening ceremony, one of his coaches, Anibal Nieves will be ready.
“I have a bunch of Haiti gear, so my wife, my son, myself, some of my son’s friends, are coming over and will all wear Haitian attire,” Nieves says.
Nieves and his twin bother Alberto coach Castelly. The three of them also coach student wrestlers at Springfield Technical Community College.
Alberto is in Rio now helping Castelly get ready and Nieves heads there in about a week. He’s a former Olympic wrestler himself, competing for Puerto Rico in ’92 and ’96.
His first time, Nieves says he was too focused to enjoy it. The second time, he took it all in. So his main piece of advice for Castelly?
“You may not get a second chance like I did, so enjoy every second,” he says.