By Samyr Laine
CJ Special Contributor
This is my first Caribbean Journal Olympic Diary entry and I’m writing it during a hiatus I’m taking from packing for my upcoming adventure, which will no doubt be the biggest of my life.
The Olympic Games kick off with the opening ceremonies on July 27th but before then I will be spending the next few weeks in Paris, France training at L’Institut National du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance (INSEP) – France’s primary training facility for their elite athletes.
In anticipation of my first Olympic Games, I frequently reflect on how far I’ve come and the significance of representing Haiti as one of just a few athletes.
After failing to qualify for the 2008 Games, qualifying for these London Games early on in the qualification period was not only a relief but truly satisfying, as it felt like the culmination of four long years of hard work.
In reality, walking into the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremonies will be the culmination of many more than just four years of work.
I also knew that it meant that I would have the opportunity to proudly represent Haiti in front of the world and perhaps do something that hasn’t been done by a Haitian since 1928, win an Olympic medal.
My teammates and I take great pride in wearing the red and blue, particularly considering the potential inspiration we could be for people in the country (and the diaspora). Of course, when it comes to inspiring and giving hope, there is no stage bigger than the Olympic Games.
At this point in the season, my practices are beginning to emphasize speed and technical tweaking/perfecting and my performances in both training and competition are continuing to improve; so all is going according to plan.
I anticipate that things will only continue to improve as I’m feeling faster and stronger than ever before and have righted my course after a relatively lackluster first month of outdoor competition (May). In any case, my coach and I have planned all along to peak in London which is exactly what I will do, first things first though is surviving on my own in Paris for a little under three weeks.
Check back for my next update to hear how things are progressing for me in Paris!
I’ve also got a competition in Sotteville, France Tuesday which will be the first of my last two meets leading up to the Games so I will give everybody an update on that as well.
Thanks for tuning in.
Triple jumper Samyr Laine will be representing Haiti in this summer’s London Olympic Games. This is the first entry of his Haiti Olympic Diary for Caribbean Journal.