If you don’t already know about her, meet Howard University senior, Latroya Pina. She’s getting ready to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games on the first-ever Cape Verde National Swim Team in Tokyo, Japan.
However, Latroya is not the only Pina competing in the Olympics. Her siblings, Troy and Jayla, will also join her on the inaugural swim team and make history as a family.
For those who are geography challenged, Cape Verde is an island nation off the coast of West Africa. Most Americans aren’t outright familiar with people from the Island even though they have a significant presence in this country.
And now that the Pina siblings are in the spotlight, they know it also puts other Cape Verdeans in the spotlight as well.
“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.”
When she’s not practicing and being her best as far as swimming, Pina is a biology student at Howard university. And yes, she’s also a part of Howard’s swim team, too. She competes in both the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter breaststroke races. Latroya 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.
“We’re not just swimming for our colleges or schools, but for a nation, so we want to do our best, Pina told The Sun Chronicle,
Already, the siblings have competesd in a few races before the 2020 Olympic Games, including the Confederation Africaine de Natation Championship in Algeria. Next are 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.