Prominent Haitian-Americans in Sports
Several athletes with roots to Haiti have been awaiting word on family and friends, and monitoring relief efforts in the earthquake-ravaged country. Here's a rundown of some of them, starting with Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon, who told the AP many of his family members still are unaccounted for.
"I can only imagine what people there are going through. It's really killing me right now. ... It's unthinkable," Dalembert told ESPN. "Imagine all the people inside, and the building just collapses."
"This is a difficult time for myself and my family, as we try to contact our family members in Haiti. Your thoughts and prayers are well received and greatly appreciated. I have personally witnessed the power and impact of the American people coming together in times of turmoil," Dumervil said in a statement.
"I'm devastated by everything currently happening in Haiti. As everybody knows, I have a lot of family members in Haiti and proudly represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympic Games," said Berto. "Like many other Haitian-Americans, my family and I are working to reach my loved ones. From what we have learned to this point, some of my family members are still missing. And we have already been informed that members of my family have passed away in the earthquake."
"Keep everybody in your prayers," said Polynice, who learned that this father is ok, but is still awaiting word on aunts, uncles and cousins. Interestingly, his dad was so unsettled by Sept. 11 events that he relocated back to Haiti.
We are just praying -- that is all we can do right now because communicating with Haiti is very difficult," Altidore told the AP. "There is not much [news] in terms of the status of my family. We have been constantly tracking the Red Cross Web site but we still can't get through to anybody there. We know as much as everybody else."
"We've been trying to call my mother and my brothers, and we still haven't gotten in touch with them," Smith told the Ames, Tribune. (Smith was adopted at a young age and raised in Iowa.) "It's hard on me because I planned on building some type of relationship with [my biological family], and we still haven't heard from them."
"The hardest part is just not knowing if they're OK or not," Avril told The Detroit News. "They really don't have the technology for me to be able to get a hold of anyone. That's really been the hardest part of the whole thing. The only thing we can hope for now is that they try to contact us."
The Chargers cornerback said on his twitter feed that his foundation "will be heavily involved in doing something in Haiti."
The Saints linebacker visited the United Nations headquarters in 2005 to push for funding of hurricane proof housing in his native Haiti and figures to be an advocate again for relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake.