According to my research, It’s been 88 years since Haiti won an Olympic medal, but come this summer in Rio, a few of our athletes will represent the Caribbean island in the hopes of bringing Olympic glory to the country. Haiti is scheduled to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016.
Haitian athletes have so far achieved qualifying standards in the following athletics events listed below. I compiled this list based on my research and what I could find on social network, if you know of any other athletes not listed here, please email us.
Men’s 100 m, Darrell Wesh is a Haitian athlete competing in sprinting events. Earlier he represented the United States. Darrell Wesh was in London for the 2012 Olympics, but he was there to watch his sister, Marlena. Marlena was part of the Haitian team, but Darrell had opted for the more challenging route of trying out for the U.S. team. Three years later, in 2015 Darrell has changed his tune and chose to compete for Haiti. Read More about Wesh Here.
Men’s 110 m hurdles. Jeffrey Michael Julmis is a Haitian sprinter born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Julmis competed in the 110 m hurdles event at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Samyr Laine is a Haitian-American triple jumper who competed for Haiti at the 2012 Summer Olympics and other international competitions since the 2007 Pan American Games. Laine began participating in sports in the 7th grade where he was relegated to the distance events because of his size. During the 2000 Sydney Olympics Laine watched and recorded every athletics event.
The Games served as his inspiration and he began to train himself in anticipation of the 2000-2001 season. He trained and was able to negotiate his way into the 200m/400m group with some horizontal jumping sprinkled in to help the team with points. It was in 2007 that he first competed under the Haitian flag. Although he was born in the United States, both of his parents and the majority of his extended family had emigrated from Haiti which allowed him to represent the nation at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and beyond.
Haiti has entered one boxer to compete in the men’s light welterweight division into the Olympic boxing tournament. Richardson Hitchins had claimed an Olympic spot with a quarterfinal victory at the 2016 AIBA World Qualifying Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Hitchins born-and-bred Brooklynite boxer will box at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil after taking home a silver medal in a world qualifying match in Azerbaijan. He started boxing at age 12 and has since taken home multiple titles, including two New York Daily News Golden Gloves Championships. The 18-year-old welterweight will represent Haiti, the birthplace of both his parents, after failing to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Haiti has qualified one judoka for the men’s lightweight category (73 kg) at the Games. Josue Deprez earned a continental quota spot from the Pan American region as the highest-ranked Haitian judoka outside of direct qualifying position in the IJF World Ranking List of May 30, 2016.
Haiti received an invitation from the Tripartite Commission to send 17-year-old Aniya Loussaint in the women’s welterweight category (67 kg) into the Olympic taekwondo competition, signifying the nation’s Olympic comeback to the sport for the first time since 2004.
Haiti has received an invitation from the Tripartite Commission to send a wrestler Asnage Castelly competing in the men’s freestyle 74 kg to the Olympics, signifying the nation’s debut in the sport.
Castelly train at Nieves Wrestling Club, he’s an assistant coach in this gym on the third floor of an unremarkable brick building in Springfield, Mass. He also coaches the team at Springfield Technical Community College. Castelly competed for Haiti in freestyle wrestling championships as far away as Mongolia. He did well, but not enough to qualify for the Rio Olympics. But the sport’s international governing body granted him a wild card spot in the Olympics. Read Castelly’s journey to the Olympics here and here.
Whitefield Academy alumna Naomy Grand’Pierre was invited to swim with the Haitian Olympic swimming team and compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2016.
Grand’Pierre, who is entering her sophomore year at the University of Chicago, also competes on the Atlanta Dolphin Swim Team. In December, she was invited to represent Haiti at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (she holds dual Haitian-American citizenship). Naomy will be the first female swimmer to represent Haiti at the Olympic Games.
Frantz Mike Itelord Dorsainvil was recently added to the Haiti swim team. I couldn’t find much information about him but here are a few pictures from his Facebook page.
Congratulations to all the athletes, we will be at home rooting for you!