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Georgetown Alumnus' Olympic Moment Becomes Reality in London

Samyr Laine (L’10)

Olympian Samyr Laine (L’10) did much of his training and preparation for the Summer Games while pursuing his juris doctorate at Georgetown's Law Center.

August 17, 2012 – Triple jumper Samyr Laine (L’10) says competing in the Olympics is in many ways similar to taking a law school final.

“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,” he says comparing his training for his Olympic moment in London earlier this month to his experience at Georgetown Law.  

“Opening ceremonies were spectacular (to say the least),” Laine 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 Summer Games in London, competed Aug. 9 in the final round of the men's triple jump, finishing 11th in a field of 12 competitors. The competition began with the qualification round, where Laine placed sixth in his qualification group.

“It was a dream come true,” Laine says 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, he says.  

Living A Double Life

Laine completed much of the training that got him to London while 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.

Laine has a deferred job offer from international law firm Shearman & Sterling, where he hopes to pursue his ultimate goal of combining his passions for sports and the law.  

Inspiring Haitian Youth

Making it to the Olympics wasn’t Laine’s only goal. The Newburgh, N.Y., native wanted to inspire young people in his parents’ homeland – Haiti, 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 an attorney, 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.

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