Flyweight champion boxer returns to nursing amid coronavirus pandemic

With her title defense on hold, Kim Clavel has returned to her old job: nursing. (@kimclavel/Instagram)
With her title defense on hold, Kim Clavel has returned to her old job: nursing. (@kimclavel/Instagram)

Like pretty much every top boxer, WBC-NABF light flyweight champion Kim Clavel had her upcoming match canceled amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike pretty much every top boxer, Clavel headed straight for the hospital. With her boxing career on hold, the Canadian has returned to her previous job as a nurse to help deal with the virus that has shut down her industry, according to the Montreal Gazette.

Before the pandemic struck, Clavel was scheduled to defend her title against Esmeralda Moreno on March 21. Her boxing record still sits at an undefeated 11-0.

From title fights to the overnight shift

The 29-year-old Clavel had previously worked as a nurse for six years in the maternity ward of Lanaudière Regional Hospital Centre in Joliette, Quebec. She reportedly took a year-long sabbatical in August to focus on her boxing career, but circumstances have obviously changed. A day after her fight was scheduled, Clavel again donned her nursing scrubs.

Now, Clavel reportedly works the overnight shift at the Paul Gouin CHSLD, a long-term care facility for older patients. She says she often works as one of three nurses taking care of 60 patients.

Before that, Clavel reportedly said she had worked at seven different CHSLDs amid the chaos of the virus. The coronavirus has created personnel shortages in medical systems around the world, so every doctor and nurse is an asset.

So far, no patients have succumbed to the coronavirus, though a few are reportedly in isolation with a fever and other symptoms. Clavel said she is fine with the risk of treating patients amid the pandemic:

“I’m not scared,” she claimed. “I know we have a risk. I know it, but I’m not scared of it. I want to help people so much that I forget about myself. I follow the rules and protect myself because I want to protect them, but I’m not scared of it.

“I had the choice,” Clavel continued. “I could have stayed home, doing nothing, and waiting for the government money. No. I had the permission to help and I need to help, so I did it. I feel I can make a difference.”

Clavel did reportedly note that she was “shocked” to not be provided with the proper protective equipment to combat the virus, saying she didn’t receive her first pair of protective glasses until last week.

Clavel isn’t alone among athletes working in medicine as the coronavirus slams personnel, but she might be the only known one who could still be described as active. Former NFL safety Myron Rolle and former MLB first baseman Mark Hamilton have found themselves entering the fight after completing medical school in their retirement.

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