Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones was awarded a prestigious USA Swimming Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to swimming, this weekend.
Jones, who won his gold medal as part of the men’s world record-setting 4x100m relay team in August, was given the Diversity Inclusion Award for heightening the “awareness of inclusion efforts resulting in the increase and successful participation of underrepresented groups in the sport.”
The New Jersey native, who has helped spread swimming to minorities with the Make a Splash Foundation, told the Today Show, “I know there’s a big stigma — in the U.S. black people don’t swim. But if you go to the Caribbean, it’s unheard of for people not to know how to swim. If you go to Africa, black people do know how to swim. But it’s just a big stereotype here. And that’s one thing that I want to work and change.”