From the throwing ring to the wrestling ring. South Alabama record holder becomes a WWE superstar.
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - “Technique, strength, balance, body control.”
That’s what it takes to be a championship track and field thrower. But for Rickssen Opont it was a long journey to Mobile, Alabama.
“I was born and raised in Haiti up until 2007 when I had the opportunity to move to New York to live with my dad for a better opportunity for education and sports,” said Rickssen Opont.
Before he could take advantage of those opportunities, Rickssen had to face his toughest challenge.
“I dealt with a lot of mental health issues at an early age. By 9 years old, I went through bullying, a lot of self-esteem issues and at certain points, I did attempt to take my own life before,” said Opont.
It was an uphill climb at an early age. With a second chance at life and some encouragement from his cousin, Rickssen started a new path in track and field and the weight room.
“They always say if you don’t want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe you’ll never be successful,” said Opont. “For me that success was me wanting to be alive, wanting to feel. So each rep, each set was my next breath.”
His renewed mindset and work ethic eventually led him to the University of South Alabama where he quickly broke the program’s shot put record all while breaking two records for Haiti. He’s also become a social media star by accident.
“It was never about the following, it was never about the likes I was getting. It was because I love track and field, I loved what I was doing and I was using my platform, my story to inspire other kids who were told they weren’t good enough,” said Opont.
Even as the records fell and the views climbed. Something was still missing.
“The accolades, the following, the likes that’s not true happiness,” added Opont. “True happiness is me being able to use my gift to inspire other people.”
Not only did his videos inspire people, but they gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. The chance to be a WWE superstar.
“This is one of those doors I had been looking for,” said Opont. “It wasn’t the Olympics it wasn’t breaking another record. This is one of those opportunities you don’t get twice.”
Now with the support of his loved ones and some last-minute coaching. It’s time to start a new chapter. All while chasing greatness and inspiring others to do the same.
“The best thing we can do is embrace all our struggles, embrace all our pain and let it fuel us to be better every day and before you know it you’ll be the best version of yourself,” said Opont.
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