On Tuesday, July 5th, University of Chicago sophomore-to-be Naomy Grand’Pierre got a life-changing call from her mother. She was confirmed to compete in Rio.
Grand’Pierre, who trained club in Atlanta with the City of Atlanta Dolphins for ten years before relocating to the Windy City to attend the University of Chicago, will be the first woman from Haiti to ever compete in swimming at an Olympic Games.
According to a release from the University of Chicago, Grand’Pierre had this to say about her big news:
“To my surprise, my mom called me on Tuesday to let me know that the decision was made and that FINA had accepted me as the female competitor to swim for Haiti. At first, I didn’t believe it. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed and relieved. I had been training since March for something that was so uncertain and it was Tuesday, with 32 days left till Rio, that things finally became official.”
Swimming at the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships (CISC) in the Bahamas recently, a meet that serves as a last-chance Olympic qualifier for the Caribbean region, Grand’Pierre finished 7th in the 50 free final with a 27.67, a bit off of her 27.35 from prelims. While she was off of the FINA A and B standards in the 50, she was told she could still go according to FINA’s universality rule.
Grand’Pierre proved to be the highest ranking female swimmer in Haiti, and FINA confirmed her trip to Rio earlier this week. A dual-citizen of the U.S. and Haiti, like her parents, she will represent her country in historical fashion this summer.
Joining her on the Haitian Olympic swim team, also thanks to the universality rule, will be Frantz Mike Itelord Dorsainvil.