Words By Nico Simino, via BBC—
With all of the tragedy that has struck Haiti the last few years, one positive note that has emerged is Samyr Laine. Laine, who was born and raised in New York City, will soon be competing in the triple jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Because Laine’s parents are both from Haiti, he can represent the island at the games. “I am a US citizen but when it comes to competing or representing Haiti I feel I am an ambassador on an international level,” Laine told the BBC. “I wear my red and blue on my sleeve and the country is near and dear to me.”
Not to be so easily defined as just an athlete, Laine has also passed the New York state bar exam, studying first at Harvard then at Texas University. He also hopes to achieve what no other Haitian has done since 1928: to win a medal for his country. (Haiti has won only two medals since its debut at the 1924 Olympic games). His message for his people is simple: “Just going there, competing well, being in the final, so that people can look at me and smile and know that I put my best foot forward for the country.” Find out more about Samyr and his Olympic aspirations at his website, www.samyrlaine.com.