For Haitian Triple Jump National Record Holder, Samyr Layne the promise of the London 2012 Olympic Games is more than just an opportunity for individual success, it represents “the inspiration I can bring as an athlete and the hope that I can give to athletes down there and children down there.”
The “there” where Laine hopes to nurture seeds of motivation and “spark a fire” for Track & Field, represents Haiti, the birthplace of the Olympian’s parents. Born in the U.S., but competing under the Haitian flag, the triple jumper hopes “to lay down the groundwork for something great," first explaining, "I’m shooting for the accomplishments and status of Sylvio Cantor," while further adding, "I’m looking to not only surpass him, but fill in behind what he already accomplished.” Long jumper Sylvio Cantor’s 1928 Olympic Silver Medal represents the highest Olympic achievement by any Haitian athlete as well as the last time the country has reached the medal stand in any event.
In “following in the footsteps” of his Haitian predecessors, Laine explains “I can’t rest on my laurels” as he hopes “to raise the bar so then anyone behind me, sort of looks to me in the same light he looked to [Cantor].”
Residing in northern Virginia and training at George Mason University, Laine, in order to begin laying the initial building blocks of the “great” foundation he seeks, admits he will need to be “at [his] personal best level or ahead of that in anticipation of the Games.” Laine’s career best of 17.39 meters set in 2009 and his 16.47 meters 2012 seasonal best thus far are still some distance yet away from the current world lead of 17.62 set by American and 2011 World Champion Christian Taylor.
And with his entry to the Games of the XXX Olympiad solidified, Laine, carrying national pride, honor and an obligated sense of duty, hoping to exit the Games with the hardware that has eluded his country for the last twenty Olympic cycles sees himself at “17.70 and above … and that’s where I see anybody being in contention of a medal, that’s where they’re going to have to be [and] I’m planning on rising to the occasion.”