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Argentinian ‘Rocky' trains for Olympics with DIY gym outside of day job as garbage collector05:19

Argentinian ‘Rocky' trains for Olympics with DIY gym outside of day job as garbage collector

Argentina, Pilar and Jose C. Paz
July 23, 2020 at 11:00 GMT -00:00 · Published

After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down training facilities in Argentina, many athletes were forced to come up with creative solutions to maintain their routines. Undeterred by the setback, two-time Olympic boxer and South American champion Yamil Peralta crafted a makeshift gym at his home in Jose C. Paz, just outside of Buenos Aires, as seen on Tuesday.

With buckets filled with cement and a rubber tyre salvaged from a friend, the boxer fashions his own workout regimen while boxing activities – and the fighter’s earnings from professional fights – are put on hold indefinitely during the pandemic.

The style of training has earned him the nickname ‘Rocky’, drawing comparisons to the 1976 Sylvester Stallone film (and oft-parodied training scenes) about a working-class Philadelphia underdog who successfully overcomes his circumstances to land a spot in a prize fight.

"They call me Rocky because after the quarantine we were all scared that it seemed like we couldn't go out any more, I started exercising to train at home. I asked a friend to lend me a tyre and I started exercising with a tyre."

When his hopes of joining the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were dashed, having represented Argentina in both the 2012 and 2016 games, he took up a job as a garbage collector to make ends meet. Even when times are good in the sport of boxing, he said on Monday, July 20, it is often difficult to survive on the income from professional bouts.

"They say 'he is an Olympian', or they see you on TV and [think] it is rare that he works, but the reality in Argentina is that it is very difficult to be an athlete, because you go against everything. The truth is that you need one way or another a bank [account] or a job," he said while at work in Pilar on Tuesday.

Peralta is not unfamiliar with challenges. He underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in 2017, which dealt him a similar pause in training activities and scheduled fights.

For now, the 29 year-old is drawing on his 14 years of experience working his way through the boxing circuit to keep focused on qualifying for the rescheduled 2021 Olympic games.

Argentinian ‘Rocky' trains for Olympics with DIY gym outside of day job as garbage collector05:19
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After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down training facilities in Argentina, many athletes were forced to come up with creative solutions to maintain their routines. Undeterred by the setback, two-time Olympic boxer and South American champion Yamil Peralta crafted a makeshift gym at his home in Jose C. Paz, just outside of Buenos Aires, as seen on Tuesday.

With buckets filled with cement and a rubber tyre salvaged from a friend, the boxer fashions his own workout regimen while boxing activities – and the fighter’s earnings from professional fights – are put on hold indefinitely during the pandemic.

The style of training has earned him the nickname ‘Rocky’, drawing comparisons to the 1976 Sylvester Stallone film (and oft-parodied training scenes) about a working-class Philadelphia underdog who successfully overcomes his circumstances to land a spot in a prize fight.

"They call me Rocky because after the quarantine we were all scared that it seemed like we couldn't go out any more, I started exercising to train at home. I asked a friend to lend me a tyre and I started exercising with a tyre."

When his hopes of joining the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were dashed, having represented Argentina in both the 2012 and 2016 games, he took up a job as a garbage collector to make ends meet. Even when times are good in the sport of boxing, he said on Monday, July 20, it is often difficult to survive on the income from professional bouts.

"They say 'he is an Olympian', or they see you on TV and [think] it is rare that he works, but the reality in Argentina is that it is very difficult to be an athlete, because you go against everything. The truth is that you need one way or another a bank [account] or a job," he said while at work in Pilar on Tuesday.

Peralta is not unfamiliar with challenges. He underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in 2017, which dealt him a similar pause in training activities and scheduled fights.

For now, the 29 year-old is drawing on his 14 years of experience working his way through the boxing circuit to keep focused on qualifying for the rescheduled 2021 Olympic games.

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