Cullen Jones is headed to this year’s Olympic games. The former North Carolina State star qualified for two individual events over the weekend and earned the title of America’s fastest swimmer by besting rival Anthony Ervin by 1/100th of a second.

Jones will be competing in the men’s 50m and 100m freestyle races as well as the 4×100 relay race.

The swimmer, who has worked extensively to encourage African-American kids to take up swimming through the “Make A Splash” initiative, says his recent victory was the realization of a dream.

“I’ve been dreaming of this forever, of qualifying for two individual events in the Olympics,” he told reporters.

“The plan now,” Jones said, “is not to let the U.S. down.”

I’m sure he’ll do just fine.

Jones will be joined by two other black swimmers at this year’s Olympic games, Anthony Ervin and Lia Neal, giving the U.S. team some much-needed diversity and hopefully encouraging more people of color to hit the pool.

  • Ms. Information

    I swim almost every day for exercise…feels much better than running :)

  • my_reply

    That’s great. I didn’t know about the black swimmers. I love to watch swimming, track, and gymnastics. I will definitely be rooting for all the Americans.

  • http://easilycomplicated.wordpress.com Marqui Rayshel

    “black people don’t swim” – dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. i was a lifeguard trainee. my whole family swims. stop the stereotypes.

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  • Jonston

    Change “Black people don’t swim” to “Black Americans don’t swim” and there is some truth to the statement despite your anecdotal objection. For one, Black women and their expensive processed hair wipes out a large portion of our population interested in swimming. Plus, letting enslaved Africans learn to swim was considered a bad idea historically since it hurt the bottom line.

    Outside of the US is a different story. Black people who live near water are just as good at swimming as others. Some of the best natural divers in the world are coastal West Africans.

  • http://twitter.com/Clnmike Tonton Michel

    True indeed.

  • Cleo Hines

    Precisely. I was born on an island in the middle of the Caribbean sea, I was probably swimming before I could walk.

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  • Jess

    OH BOY..What a dumb assumption about Black women and our hair. Black Americans in general, female AND male don’t swim regularly. A lot has to do with the fact that for many years, Black Americans were NOT ALLOWED into public swimming pools or even lakes for a long time in the U.S. Even my father said he only learned to swim in the army (Vietnam war times) because there were no public pools for Blacks. This was up through the 1960′s, and now the mentality exists that we don’t swim. And actually, to this day, many Black communities do not have a large amount of swim facilities, unless you pay a gym membership to use the gym – even the YMCA charges! Plus swim training was generally reserved for the wealthy.

    So now, everybody, Black men and Black women alike rarely swim.

    Boy, the idiot “Blame Black women” crew are out in force.

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