Since the tragic earthquake in 2010, Haiti has struggled with rebuilding infrastructure and a stable economy. According to Fox News Latino, millions of Haitians live on an estimated $2 a day and the harsh living standards have made it even harder for the Caribbean country to foster and develop Olympic athletics.
Despite Haiti’s current condition, five Olympians are representing the island, which has not won an Olympic medal since 1928 (when Silvio Cator won the silver metal for the men's long jump). Out of the group of stellar athletics, 4 out of the 5 are part of the Haitian diaspora and were not actually born in the Caribbean island.
Triple jumper, Samyr Laine is participating in the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games and hopes to start a non-profit organization titled, Jump for Haiti Foundation, in the hopes of developing more Haitian athletes in the future. Samyr studied with Mark Zuckerberg in Harvard and recently graduated from Georgetown Law School.
Samyr admits that he hopes to get the Facebook creator on his team to grow the community program. “I hope they see the merits of my cause,” Laine said. “I will definitely try to reach out to Mark as well.”
When it comes to identity, most of the athletes still feel Haitian despite not being born there. Marlena Wesh, a sprinter, explained to the Associated Press, “I still feel Haitian even if I wasn’t born there.”
What do you think about their story about identity and culture?