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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cullen Jones Makes History
Second Black American to win Olympc Gold

I am not going to objectify him, although, let us face it, it will be tremendously difficult not to. Meet Cullen Jones, the Bronx born winner of Gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In order to make sure I uphold the promise stated in my very first sentence, I'm going to keep my commentary brief...

Jones, as part of the United States Men's Olympic Freestyle Team, made history becoming only the second Black American swimmer to ever win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Collectively Jones, Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak and Garrett Weber-Gale, set a new world record in the 400 meter freestyle. NPR reports that at age 5 Jones nearly drowned at an amusement park. That incident has stayed with him throughout all his training:

"I was devastated to see that blacks and Hispanics are almost three times more likely to drown than their counterparts," said Jones. "To think back to my story when I was 5, I could have easily been added to the number."

It's a cause Jones is now championing, increasing awareness about water safety and drawing new faces to the pool.

"It's kind of ironic that now I'm a gold medalist, and I'm in a position to help diversity in the sport."

Here's the footage (special thanks to mkfromdk from Youtube) of the win:

Like I said, I'm not going to objectify him, well not here anyway. If you're wondering how he looks with clothes on, check out this lovely little message to his mama!! Go USA!

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