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Triple Jumper Samyr Laine Heads to Olympic Games
Samyr Laine is the guy who makes other ambitious folks feel like they’re slacking off. I’m serious. In talking with the Olympic-bound track and field athlete, he’s candid about his prior challenges when he didn’t make the 2008 team and how he turned it around in time to compete for Haiti in London in a few weeks.
Ivy League education at Georgetown Law Center- Check!
Secure a corporate lawyer gig- Check!
Remain humble and focused on faith, family, and goals- Double Check!
Samyr’s Haitian descent keeps him tied to the country still healing from the 2010 earthquake. And a recent trip to local orphanages reinforced his dedication to create a charitable foundation, Jump for Haiti to bring some relief in the form of sports and physical activity programs to children, many of whom have never heard of the Olympics.
In speaking to Mr. Laine, you appreciate his road to success. While law school kept Laine in a classroom, he moved to northern Virginia, enrolled in Georgetown Law and connected with Skeeter Jackson, a former jumping dynamo who reached the U.S. Olympic trials in 1984 after playing center field in the Baltimore Orioles farm system. This dedication paid off as he found himself consistently ranking in the top 15, top 20 jump competitions and ranking about 9th in the triple jump in 2009. But it wasn’t always a straight shot to the top.
“I was a distance runner in 7th and 8th grades of school. My coach introduced me to the triple jump. But in the 8th grade, I tried out for track team to be a sprinter and they made me a distance runner. I ended up getting cut from the team.” Fast forward to law school, Samyr says, “even though I missed the standard to make the 2008 Olympic team, I felt like I had a lot more in the tank.”
Qualified to represent Haiti in the London Olympics triple jump was a big career hurdle and there is still work to do. “The Haitian team is a small team but I am excited for me individually and the team overall as we can bring attention to Haiti.”
And what high achiever would not be looking forward. Samyr predicts in 2016, for the Olympic Games in Rio, he could make the cut again, “I’ll be 32 and that’s a great age for a seasoned track athlete because you know your body and you have more experience. I could get farther than I am today being just 27. I think people should explore their passion. Why not have it all.”
Indeed, let’s all go for the gold!