Photo credit: Tom Maguire/ The Sun Chronicle
Howard University senior, Latroya Pina, is gearing up to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games on the first-ever Cape Verde National Swim Team in Tokyo, Japan. Pina and her siblings, Troy and Jayla, will all compete on the inaugural swim team and make history as a family on the trailblazing team.
Cape Verde is an island nation off the coast of West Africa. Although there are a significant number of persons of Cape Verdean descent who reside in the United States, the unique culture and history of the island is often times not commonly known. The talented siblings know that their athletic talent will now place a spotlight on their homeland and also influence other Cape Verdeans in the United States. “Cape Verde is trying to make swimming a big sport now, so it’s our responsibility to represent our country,” Pina shared with Essence. “People in Cape Verde and all the Cape Verdeans in the U.S. will be looking up to us.”
Pina, who studies biology, also competes on the Howard swim team in both the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter breaststroke races. Her and her siblings grew up in Massachusetts and all learned and grew together as competitive swimmers paving the way for this unique opportunity to compete in an Olympics together. Pina told The Sun Chronicle, “We're not just swimming for our colleges or schools, but for a nation, so we want to do our best."
The siblings will compete in a few races before the 2020 Olympic Games, including the Confederation Africaine de Natation Championship in Algeria early next month then onto the 2019 World Championships in South Korea.
“We are excited for Latroya (Pina) and have no doubt, she will make Howard University and Cape Verde very proud,” shared Howard Swimming and Diving Head Coach, Nicholas Askew.