Tag: swimming

Accolades Cullen Jones Sports

Olympic Swimmer Cullen Jones Wins Annual USA Swimming Award

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.”

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Accolades Cullen Jones Europe Feuds Sports

Cullen Jones and the Men’s USA Relay Swim Team Win Gold—Beating Trash Talking French

The amazing swimming foursome from the USA, Cullen Jones, Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, and Jason Lezak, shatter the world record in the mens 400-meter freestyle relay race in Beijing, beating the French, who recently trashed the Americans in the press.

Crossing the finish line at 3 minutes, 8.24 seconds, the Americans took the gold medal, with the French nabbing silver and the Australians taking bronze. Jones is the second African American to win a gold medal in swimming.

“We love listening to hear people talk stuff about us,” Jones said in response to French swimmer Alain Bernard, who made headlines for telling sports newspaper L’Equipe, “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came for.”

“This is our event,” said Phelps, whose dream of making Olympic history is still alive.


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Cullen Jones Race Matters Sports

Olympic Swimmer Cullen Jones Makes A Splash

Twenty-four year old Cullen Jones is the third African American to make an U.S. Olympic swimming squad and he is determined to dispel the myths that black people can’t swim or are biologically less buoyant than white people (as laughably outlined in a 1969 study called “The Negro and Learning to Swim“).

While it is common for most West Indians and coastal Africans to be adept at swimming there are three major historical factors in America that have kept blacks out of the water: slave owners preventing them from learning to swim so they wouldn’t run away; segregation that prevented blacks from using public pools; and economic disadvantage.

After a 2007 study commissioned by USA Swimming and the University of Memphis found that 60 percent of African-American children couldn’t swim, Cullen Jones partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make a Splash Program.”

In addition to teaching kids to swim, Cullen Jones acts as an example for black youth as he strives to be the second African American Olympic swimmer to win a gold medal (Anthony Ervin became the first when he won the 50 meter freestyle in a tie with Gary Hall Jr. in 2000).

Jones will compete at the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

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