As the 2016 Haitian Olympic Swimming Team journeys to Rio de Janeiro a group of Haitians in Atlanta dedicated to their success attended a press conference to show support for the team. The press conference was sponsored by Haitian-American Youth Reaching Out (HYRO), a network of young and old promoting youth involvement in their communities embodying modern-day principles of organizing the youth and molding them to be leaders as well as keeping intact their Haitian heritage.
The press conference was held at Haitian Ministry Theophile Church in Christ, Inc. in Atlanta, GA and was attended by the latest addition to the team, Atlanta resident, Naomy Grand’Pierre, her swimming coach Tommy Jones and her parents Reginald and Clio Grand’Pierre. The Grand’Pierres are well known and influential within the local Haitian community.
Members of the Haitian community and the Caribbean Diaspora here in Atlanta are excited about what this means for not only a young Haitian-American but all Haitians across the world to participate in the Olympics. Naomy’s parents let those at the press conference know first-hand what swimming has done for their family and are excited to share the long-lasting benefits of swimming beyond the 2016 Olympics and throughout Haiti. Mrs. Gran’Pierre talked to me about the drowning of a relative which prompted her to make sure that her children would know how to swim. She also shared that less than 1% of the population in Haiti know how to swim. She is determined to change that! Additionally, she will be working towards having more lifeguards on duty on the beaches of Haiti.
The road to Rio ain’t cheap and the Haitian Swim Team is raising funds to get the team there. They have received major sponsorship from local Haitian-owned and operated JL|Homes – a company of Joseph & Laine Capital Holdings, Inc., The team is still raising funds and if you would like to donate, please visit www.hyroworldwide.org for more information.
Enjoy the photos!