Iowa Central International Athletes – By Magali Mouton


Chloe Lenoir and Christian Koffi, both students athletes from France, chose Iowa Central Community College, in Fort Dodge, to live their American Dream. Chloe who is on the track and field team and Christian on the soccer team, have different experiences since they respectfully started their freshmen year, in 2020 and in 2019. They came to the United States to continue their sportive career and to have access to a good education, because not like here, France is not a country where sport and school are a good combination.

Chloe who is studying First Aid but wants to be a physiotherapist. She started to run when she was 7years-old. Her love for the competition, and her desire to discover a new culture, language, and people, made her come here. Thanks to her talents, she got a scholarship who permits her to fully cover the expenses, but because of the COVID-19 situation, everything is getting complicated. Especially for practices, she mentioned “we have less hours to practice, and it is hard to stay in shape, or to improve ourselves.” But she and her team already had the chance to compete against other community colleges. She won the 10MR, last month for their championships, “you have to run 10 miles but as a relay, with 3 other girls” she explained.

Unlike Christian, his season has not started yet, the first meet will be in May. He can see himself playing soccer as a professional, but for now he is studying business, which will help him later to manage his carrier, “when I see all the professional soccer players with all of their sponsors and the medias they work with, I want to be able to know what I am doing.” Christian is passionate for soccer since he was 12years-old, when he started to play and never stopped. He was in the French Team 3 years ago and has been honored as an All-American student last year. Thanks to his abilities and desires to pursue his dreams, Christian has already committed to another university to obtain his bachelors degree, at the University of Missouri, in Kansas City. But Christian, not knowing what the future will hold for him confessed “I do not know how everything will go for me, in my new university, because when I see here how hard it is to train, with a mask on, being careful all the time, or getting testing in prevention for the virus.” But he also mentioned that he is thankful to be here because his teammates back home cannot practice at all.

Chloe and Christian are both hard workers and have big goals. They are fully supported by their families and friends. They both know how talented they are and do not want to spoil it. Chloe will not go back to France at the end of the year, being away from home and the way that the school is organized was not what she was expecting. The pandemic did not make things better. Both of them, have experienced a special year with all the restrictions, and not being able to live how they used to live before, we wish all the best to these two athletes for the rest of the year and their life.

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The Collegian is an online newspaper written, edited, and published by students at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.