Jair Lynch, 42, is the owner of Jair Lynch Development Partners, a firm that specializes in urban residential and commercial properties in Washington. He won a silver medal in the parallel bars at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He lives in the District with his wife and daughter.
What was your favorite toy as a kid?
I was a fanatic about Legos. And this is probably why I’m involved in cities and planning and real estate. I had tables and tables permanently set up with different environments that I created.
You moved to Washington when you were 3. What’s your first memory of the city?
Rock Creek Park. I especially remember the trees changing color.
What about the city would you most like to see improved?
I think congestion is a huge issue in the region, and I’d like to see that improved through a variety of ways.
When visitors come to D.C., where do you always want to take them?
One of my favorite places downtown is the National Portrait Gallery. And I really enjoy the space that’s inside there as much as the art that’s there. The interior patio done by Norman Foster I think is one of the best spaces in D.C.
Is there a single book that has made a great impact on your life?
I think a book that really opened my eyes to how the world works, and reading it before the great recession was really impactful, was “Making Globalization Work” by Joe Stiglitz.
What are three words that describe Washington now?
Vibrant, at a crossroads and on the verge. I know that’s not a single word, but I really think that over the next 10 to 20 years the city is going to change dramatically in a positive way.
What one thing would people notice when they come into your house?
A minimalist style. Just because I don’t believe in overconsumption.
Where do you keep your silver medal?
Uh, I have it, uh ...
You’d rather not say?
I’d rather not say. [Laughs.] It’s not prominently displayed.
I think I’d have that around ready to show to everyone.
Does being an Olympic champion help you in whatever you take on in life?
There were three items of the scoring system when I was growing up that you got bonus points for. One being risk,
one being originality and one being virtuousity. At that young age you
don’t think about those as values, but they act as a compass for sport and for life.
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