"It Was a Dream Come True." Olympic Triple Jumper Samyr Laine (L'10)
Photo 1/2: Getty Images/Courtesy of Samyr Laine
Photo 2/2: Samyr Laine visits a Haitian orphanage in 2011.
August 16, 2012 — “Opening ceremonies were spectacular (to say the least),” triple jumper Samyr Laine (L'10) tweeted from London as he sought to complete a journey that began when he was in high school. “Officially an Olympian, def. living a dream.”
Laine, one of the five athletes representing Haiti at the Olympic Games in London, competed last week in the final round of the men's triple jump, finishing eleventh in a field of 12 competitors. The competition began with the qualification round, where Laine placed sixth in his qualification group. He spoke to Georgetown Law shortly after the Games concluded.
“It was a dream come true,” Laine said of the experience. “When you walk into the stadium, you really feel like it is the culmination of a lot of hard work, the accomplishment of many goals, not just the goal of being an Olympian.” Having his parents and other family present at the Games made the experience even more special.
When it was time to compete, Laine said he relied heavily on the training and preparation that got him to that moment. “It's almost the same as taking a law school final,” he said. “You get to the final and you just have to realize that at this point you can't be any more prepared. It’s relying on your preparation and knowing that you're ready.”
Laine completed much of the training that got him to London when he was a Georgetown Law student. “I really just tried to keep my identities separate. If I was at the track, I wasn't thinking about school. When I was at the Law Center, it wasn't about track.” Most of his professors and fellow students didn't know he was training and traveling to international competitions while earning his J.D. “I really was trying to lead a double life,” he said. (Laine has a deferred job offer from Shearman & Sterling, where he hopes to pursue his ultimate goal of combing his passions for sports and the law.)
Making it to the Olympics wasn’t Laine’s only goal. He also wants to inspire young people in Haiti, his parents’ homeland, which he visited for the first time after the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people. Instead of trying out for the U.S. Olympic team, Laine chose to represent Haiti to help lift the hopes of a nation that suffered so much destruction. He even created a foundation, Jump for Haiti, to expose Haitian children to athletics.
“My purpose is just to make a difference, whether as an athlete, or eventually as anattorney, to use my talents and my skills to help better their lives,” he said. Though he didn't leave London with a medal, this Georgetown Law Olympian’s future looks truly golden.