Meet Naomi Grand’Pierre, Haiti’s First Woman to Swim at the Olympics

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.

photo: Pierre Cote (Twitter: @pierrecote)

photo: Pierre Cote (Twitter: @pierrecote)

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.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

It must feel awesome to be the first EVER to compete in that sport for your country!! Congratulations!

4 years ago

No ofense for the swimmer, who didnt born in Haiti, probably never been there either, but she cant be accept at Olympics. Rules for Universality states “swimmer MUST swim at 2015 Worlds Championships in Kazan”. She didnt.

4 years ago

Really like who the f are u to even say something. They are trying to be diverse and u don’t even know if she’s been there or not.. Who cares, she gets to represent her country and I’m sure they will be proud!

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 years ago

3. NFs/NOCs without qualified athletes – Universality Places
National Federations/NOCs with no swimmers who have achieved neither Olympic Qualifying Time or FINA/Olympic Selection Time may enter one (1) man and one (1) woman (Universality), provided that those swimmers participated in the 16th FINA World Championships – Kazan 2015 and are approved by FINA to compete.

Reply to  Hswimmer
1 year ago

HSWIMMER thanks for defense my country to FINADOESNTFOLLOWRULES like he/she think she own the place

4 years ago

You are silly as hell!!

Louis Mora Jabouin
4 years ago

Congratulations for being able to represent Haiti and for making history as the first Haitian woman to ever compete in swimming at an Olympic Games. Representing your country is a great honor and also a great privilege. I wish you a great success for setting example for the next generations in our country. Bravo you are a leader.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

Read More »