Moving to another country is always challenging, especially if you’re immigrating. However, things are difficult when you must flee your home country, especially if your life is at risk. Such is Elie Paivan’s story. He’s a young man born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and things were going well for him and his family. But then, the situation changed overnight. Detractors tried to attack his family because of his father’s political views.
He had no choice but to leave his home country to find safety in a foreign land, especially after sensing that his family’s lives were at risk. His journey could be turned into a Hollywood movie. Elie and his two brothers traveled from DRC and traversed through Angola, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico before finally making it to the United States.
The journey was perilous. However, Elie Paivan also picked up some life lessons along the way. The journey was also beneficial because he learned Portuguese and Spanish, making him multilingual since he was familiar with Lingala and French – his hometown languages. He would also pick up English after coming to the United States.
Moving to the United States was arduous enough. But adapting to a foreign culture with different customs is also difficult. He struggled to fit in with others in the United States. It took a while before he overcame obstacles stemming from diversity. However, he eventually continued with his education, finishing high school and winning multiple awards, including full-ride tuition to Eastern Michigan University, where he’s currently in his second year as an Aviation Management Technology major.
Wrestling wasn’t something Elie had in his mind when he moved to the United States. However, it intrigued him because he saw his best friend, Diego Tambriz, partake in the sport in high school. He hadn’t initially considered participating in wrestling. But it seemed like a good opportunity to fit in with other people by embracing a new culture. Moreover, he thought it would also be an excellent way to make new friends.
Thus, his wrestling career began. It’s important to understand that high school and college wrestling differs considerably from professional wrestling. The latter is more sports entertainment than competition. Companies like WWE and AEW have made professional wrestling popular globally. But they don’t stick to the sport’s confines. Instead, they have theatricalized it to inject drama and entertainment.
High school and college wrestling is more physical and requires pinning people to win. The sport doesn’t follow scripts, and nothing is pre-planned. It’s as real as it gets. Thus, competitors must train regularly, spending hours on the wrestling mats to hone their skills to become better wrestlers.
Elie Paivan has had so many wrestling matches that he couldn’t tell you his win and loss record. But he does recommend losing countless matches, especially when he started the sport. Things did eventually change when he got more experienced because it allowed him to string together multiple win streaks.
As far as professional wrestling is concerned, he isn’t dismissive of the sport, unlike other people. Perhaps, that’s because he’s a big fan of John Cena and his dominant streak in the WWE. In addition, he also cites Mike Tyson, the world-renowned boxer, as one of his idols.
Recently, he has also become interested in bodybuilding. He has turned his attention to creating short-form videos on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. He wants to spread his knowledge and awareness to others. Thus, he’s using his social media channels to inspire others to become better in life.