Seekonk siblings make history as Cape Verde’s first ever Olympic swimmers

SEEKONK, Mass. (WLNE) – Two siblings from Seekonk are making history.

Troy and Jayla Pina are headed to Tokyo for the 2021 Summer Olympics. They are representing Cape Verde’s first-ever Olympic swim team.

“People probably dream of this,” Troy said. “To have it with your sibling, it makes it even better to compete side by side for the same country.”

“It’s definitely awesome to go with my brother because we get to share the experience together and definitely makes it more fun having my sibling along with me,” Jayla said.

The duo will represent Cape Verde competing for the place their mother was born. They take off on Sunday and will fly for more than 15 hours to Tokyo while their family watches at home due to restrictions from the coronavirus.

“The excitement is starting to build up a little more. The anxiousness; just trying to get there, it’ll be awesome,” Troy said.

“The opening ceremony is actually on my birthday, so that’ll be the best birthday I’ll ever have,” Jayla said.

Jayla is 16-years-old and headed into her senior year at Seekonk High School. She’ll compete in the 100 breast stroke.

Her brother, Troy, a South Kingstown police officer will compete in the 50 freestyle.

Both siblings say it took years of training to get to this point and that swimming runs in the family.

“When I get there I’ll definitely feel the worth of waking up at 5am and going to practice,” Jayla said.”

As the two make history, they hope their story will show others that anything is possible.

“Just keep training your hardest, always believe in yourself, and you never know what will happen,” Troy said.

The 2021 Summer Olympics kick off next Friday. Jayla will compete on the 26th and Troy will compete on the 30th.

Categories: Massachusetts, Regional News