A Howard University student will be representing the island nation of Cape Verde in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Latroya Pina will compete as a member of the first-ever Cape Verde National Swim Team in the 2020 Summer Olympics, the school’s website, the Howard Bison, reports. She already competes in multiple races for the historic D.C. university, including the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter breaststroke.
Pina, a senior biology major, will also make history because she will be swimming alongside her two siblings, Troy and Jayla, to make up 75 percent of the Cape Verdean swim team, WUSA9 reports.
“Cape Verde is trying to make swimming a big sport now, so it’s our responsibility to represent our country,” Pina said. “People in Cape Verde and all the Cape Verdeans in the U.S. will be looking up to us.”
The siblings all grew up in the U.S and swam for Seekonk High School in Massachusetts.
“It’s not far-fetched, three members of one family all going to the World Championships and the Olympic Games,” 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.”
Cape Verde is a Lusophone-speaking island nation off the coast of West Africa.
The trio are scheduled to swim in the Confederation Africaine de Natation Championship Meet in early September in Algiers, Algeria. The meet is a precursor to the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, and then the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, to which the team is granted an automatic berth.
“To represent your country at the Olympic level is every swimmer’s dream,” said Howard Swimming & Diving Head Coach Nicholas Askew. “We are excited for Latroya [Pina] and have no doubt, she will make Howard University and Cape Verde very proud.”
And we can’t wait to watch!