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Klitschko Hates Poverty, Loves Borat

BY Robert Ecksel ON November 22, 2006
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Wladimir Klitschko goes to Namibia and the movies

In today’s The Moscow Times, a reprint from Reuters hails the IBF heavyweight champion of the world Wladimir Klitschko and gives him all due respect, not only for his accomplishments in the ring, but for his accomplishments outside the ring. His work with UNESCO continues to grow, and Klitschko’s dualism, where he seems comfortable in “some of the most glamorous and also some of the most destitute spots on the planet,� insures that Klitschko the man and Klitschko the fighter is someone to watch.

Wladimir Klitschko

"Thanks to sports I've gotten to know more about life, had the opportunity to meet famous people and learn from them, and to work with the United Nations organization UNESCO, which helps me understand the world more clearly," Klitschko said.

Klitschko and his older brother Vitali have led what are called “storybook lives.� Sons of a Ukrainian air force general who is now military attaché to the embassy in Germany, they had a profound sense of excellence drilled into them at an early age. But their superiority, in size, athleticism, intelligence, looks, languages, you name it, was augmented by a heightened social conscience, an awareness that not everyone on the planet was as fortunate as the brothers Klitschko.

In that spirit, Wladimir Klitschko just raised “a quarter million dollars to help build schools in an impoverished Namibian village visited in August by the Klitschko brothers on a UNESCO mission� from the proceeds of his recent fight with Calvin Brock at Madison Square Garden. The heavyweight champion of the world doesn’t have to that, he can just party, but as Klitschko said, “The people there are dying… When you go to the third-world countries you see children die right in front of your eyes. Without education, those children have no chance to survive. This is the chance to give them some future.�

On a lighter note, Wladimir Klitschko, who was born in Kazakhstan, moved to Prague and grew up in Ukraine, confessed to having a particular affinity for the faux Kazakh comedic documentary filmmaker superstar du jour “Borat� (nee Sasha Baron Cohen).

“I love ‘Borat,’� Klitschko said about hit movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,� a film that follows the antics of a British/Jewish comedian/prankster pretending to be a Kazakh TV reporter making a documentary about life in the USA.

“I think that is the funniest dude I have ever seen. He's just something different than we have seen before. I think it might be great for Kazakhstan because people will go to the country and see it. You remember that crocodile hunter from Australia?� Klitschko asked. “Everybody thought that when he comes to New York in the movie all Australians are as crazy as Crocodile Dundee. People went to Australia to see that country and it was good for the economy.�

The Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is in the UK and has seen “Borat,� told NDTV that the film was shot in Romania, but added, “any publicity is good publicity.� Read more at the BLOG

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