One of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s former freshman roommates at Harvard, Samyr Laine, is hoping to bring home a medal in the triple jump for the nation of Haiti at the London Olympics. According to the NY Daily News, Laine was the 14th person to join Zuckerberg’s social network in college. He was born in the United States, but his parents arrived from Haiti in the 1970′s.
Laine had never been to Haiti until a trip in March of last year. However, he provides his parents’ native country its greatest hope for a medal in the London Games, something that hasn’t happened for Haiti since Silvio Cator won a silver medal at the 1928 Olympics.
A late bloomer in the sport, Laine is ranked in the top 15 in the Triple Jump, and only two members of the USA Track and Field team have better personal lengths than Laine. Part of that is that he has always pursued education, from his days in high school to attending law school at Georgetown and passing the New York State Bar. In high school, his father held him out of track when his grades “dipped” to a 92, saying, ”I did not raise him to be an Olympian. I raised him to get an education.”
Laine tried out for the Harvard track team and improved greatly while there, and when he graduated but still had a year of eligibility remaining, went to the University of Texas for a final season before going on to Georgetown Law. While in law school, he also began training and representing Haiti, and traveling abroad for competitions. He also served an internship at Shearman & Sterling, but stopped three years ago to focus on the Olympics. Though he only went to Haiti for the first time after the tragic earthquake, he also has plans for a foundation in Haiti in the future with the working title “A Foot In Two Worlds.”
[photo via NY Daily News]