What Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment is to Sex and the City fans, Room D11 in Strauss Hall at Harvard University is to aspiring students all over the country. That’s because back in the year 2002-2003, two very special students were roommates in that very room.
One has the name that is a household one at this point, thanks to a little invention known as Facebook. As someone who is currently the youngest multi-billionaire who earned his empire via entrepreneurship, Mark Zuckerberg is undoubtedly one of the most famous (and powerful) people in the world.
His roommate? Well, up until now, he wasn’t quite so well-known. But thanks to this year’s Summer Olympics, that is all about to significantly change. Samyr Laine is a Haitian-born athlete who did once live with Zuckerberg while they were both attending Harvard. Now, his claim to fame is that he will be competing in London on the behalf of his native country by competing in the triple jump category.
Although many people are just hearing about Laine this year, on Harvard’s campus, he certainly had his own claim to fame. There, he still currently holds the record for the triple jump, both indoors (close to 52 feet) and outdoors (a little over 53 ½ feet). As a matter of fact, his outdoor record is not far off from the current world one set by Britain-native Jonathan Edwards that was set back in 1995. Laine’s best official jump to-date of 55 feet 4 ¾ inches ranks him as 30th in the world.
As he trains for the Olympics and people are catching wind of his past college living situation, there are many questions that he’s been asked: What was it like to live with Zuckerberg? (It must have been pretty cool because they are still friends). Does he ever ask Zuckerberg for money? (The answer his “no.” He says that their friendship is based on being two 17-year-olds sharing a dorm room; not on his financial status now.) Oh, and if he has a Facebook account. Yes, he does. He was actually the 14th person to sign up for Facebook after getting an invite from Zuckerberg himself when it was first invented.
And now, both of their futures appear to be pretty bright. After leaving Harvard, Laine went on to become a student at Georgetown Law School. His plan, following the Olympics, is to start working at a law firm in New York; an opportunity that he has had to defer twice due to his athletic training.
Of course, those still remain to be tentative plans being that we all have to wait and see what the fates will deliver to Laine at the Olympics. Just as Zuckerberg probably did not foresee 1 out of every 9 people in the world being a member of his “college venture”, Laine may have some pretty spectacular surprises in store for him as well. Indeed, sometimes we have no idea where something like a business idea, an athletic endeavor, an online social work degree, a move to another city or any other “regular plan” will take us.
It would appear that we also can’t predict the kind of pure magic that can reside in one dorm room.
We’ll have to keep a close eye on D11 at Harvard. There’s no telling what other brilliance lies in store…from a couple of (more) 17-year-old students.