Rod 2.0 fave Cullen Jones returns to the news. While some Olympic gold medalist are cashing in for quick endorsement deals, Cullen Jones takes some time off from training to establish a diversity swimming program for inner city youth.
The Bronx-born swimming phenom was the lone black on the swimming team in Beijing. Cullen swam into history as the United States' second black gold medalist in swimming for the 4x1000 meter freestyle relay with Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale and Jason Lezak. Jones trained at Newark's John F. Kennedy pool and now that he has some time off from training, plans to use the prestige and celebrity of his gold medalist status to implement a diversity swimming program for inner city youth.
Statistics show 58 percent of black children can't swim, compared to 31 percent of whites, according to the Star Ledger, "already has $10,000 from Bank of America, one of his sponsors, toward a program to change that. Jones says, "I hope a kid can see this and say, 'Wow, a black swimmer and he's got a gold medal.'"
Only last year, Jones was ranked first in the world in the 50 meter freestyle but did not qualify for the Olympic trials. Cullen Jones hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London to win an individual gold medal in the event. And we'll be watching.
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