How far can you go to realize your dream of becoming a boxer when you already have a PhD in Analytical Chemistry? That’s the story of Ghanaian armature boxer Dr Ornella Sathoud.
Born to a Congolese father and a Ghanaian mother, Dr Ornella Sathoud spent some time in Africa before moving to Delaware in the United States of America to further her education even though she harboured dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete and a professional boxer.
With a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Delaware (UD) and currently pursuing a post-doctorate programme at the same university, Ornella prefers to be in the pugilist world dominated by males.
Ornella Sathoud passion for sports is what led her to try boxing after heeding to the advice of her mother who was an athlete just like her father. Growing up in Congo and America, the female boxer was very much interested in sports.
Ornella had experienced life on the track and volleyball before deciding to become a kickboxer, however, it was a mothers inspiration which led her to become a boxer after observing her fighting instincts.
Ornella said, “I wanted to do sports because I did sports growing up. My mother was a runner and my dad did judo. Growing up I did volleyball and running but my Mom told me I should try boxing maybe I will like it so I tried it.”
“I want to be productive so I told my coach I want to be ready to fight. So I started with kickboxing and I had three fights but since we couldn’t find any kickboxing fight he told me let’s do boxing, so I kept up with it and I said we should try the Olympics and he said before we start Olympics we have to start somewhere,” Ornella Sathoud said in an exclusive interview with Ghanaweb.
After setting up her goals, the current Black Bombers boxer said she reached out to the Ghana Boxing Federation who invited her for trials and was drafted into the team later for her performance.
She told Ghanaweb, “I went online and called the Ghana Boxing Federation, I had my mother’s sister in Ghana who helped me to be in touch with people who will help me reach out to the president and I was able to reach out to him and he told me I had to come for a tryout with the team and apparently I did well and now I’m in the team.”
The 5-feet tall boxer who could have easily represented the United States says she opted for Ghana because, “I wanted to be able to represent Ghana because when you think about boxing in Africa, the first country you hear is Ghana so I want to be part of this history.”
The boxer who represented Ghana in Rabat last year went on to say that, when it comes to boxing in Ghana, “the first name you hear is Azumah Nelson and then you have Ike Quartey. I really wanted to know more because when you think about boxing you don’t really see many female boxers you always hear about the men.”
Ornella Sathoud was one of two Ghanaian boxers selected by the national team coach to join eight other male contingents tasked to qualify Ghana to the Tokyo games.
However, despite the number of challenges that have hindered the Black Bombers preparations for the African qualifications for the 2020 Olympics, Ornella says she’s bent on realizing her Olympic dream. She believes meeting some of her American mates at the Olympics will be a cherry on the icing.
“My mission and vision is to qualify so I know there are two weights for my class so my goal is making it to the top two. It will be awesome and interesting to see them. One of the reasons I feel I have to qualify because I will be able to meet the people that I see in America,” she said with a joyful expression.
Ornella Sathoud is the 2017 DC Golden Gloves champion, a competition held in the United States.
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