No one has seen a Haitian athlete on an Olympic podium since 1928, when Silvio Cator won silver in long jump. Haitian-American triple Jumper Pierre Francois hopes to change that.
According to WordldNewsReport
Triple jumper Pierre François is training at an U.S. college to improve his technique so he can qualify to represent Haiti at the 2015 Pan Am Games. No one has seen a Haitian athlete on an Olympic podium since 1928. Triple jumper Pierre François hopes to change that.
When Pierre François was running and jumping in the hills above his small town in Haiti he had no idea what he was doing was a sport. He had never heard of track and field and, besides, he was busy dreaming of being a soccer player.
But even as a confident teenager he knew those would only ever be dreams. He could look around Saint-Jean-du-Sud and see that he and his friends might like playing, and be pretty good at it, but there was no where to go with it. Their dreams wouldn’t take them beyond weekend pickup games.
“There weren’t any teams to take you to the next level,” François said. “There’s really not much opportunity in Haiti.” Things changed dramatically for him when his father moved to New York and brought him to live in the Bronx when he was 15 years old. “That’s when things got better and I felt I had a chance,” François said.
But he doesn’t play soccer anymore. The 21-year-old Lehman College athlete doesn’t want to risk an injury that could derail his new dream: competing for Haiti in triple jump. And, this time, he’s confident that he can make the dream come true.
No one has seen a Haitian athlete on an Olympic podium since 1928, when Silvio Cator won silver in long jump. And no one from the impoverished Caribbean nation has ever won a gold medal at a Pan American Games.But François can see it all happening. He can practically feel the excitement of putting on a national team uniform and standing on the top step of the podium listening to Haiti’s national anthem, “La Dessalinienne,” play.
“It would be everything for me. I’ll feel like all the hard work has made a difference,” said François, who is spending his summer training and getting in as many shifts at his job as a line-cook as he can.