Boxer Arthur Biyarslanov escaped the death and destruction of war in Chechnya to represent his adopted homeland of Canada at the Rio Olympics on Thursday, a fairytale end to a traumatic journey.
The 21-year-old, nicknamed "The Chechen Wolf", had to dig deep on the way to a unanimous points victory over Jordan`s Obada Alkasbeh in his light welterweight Games debut.
He was left bruised and battered, and sustained a nasty wound to his right eye, and told AFP that he drew on the memories of his war-scarred childhood to drag him to an emotional victory.
"It`s a great feeling, I always wanted to come to the Olympics after the London 2012 Games and finally I`m here and I want to give it all and try to win the gold medal, it is one fight at a time," he said.
Biyarslanov has spent half his life in Canada, after as a four-year-old boy he and his family escaped from the Russian army to seek refuge in Azerbaijan, before immigrating to Canada at age nine.
He lost his father at a young age, growing up in a rough area of Toronto with his mother and brothers.