Wednesday, August 13, 2008


When you think of swimming as a sport and not a recreational activity, BLACKS don't necessarily hit top of mind. Swimming is just not our sport, or is it? I never got with the notion of a sport belonging to one particular race. But I totally understand when they say things such as that, which is only a result of the limited number of BLACKS we see participating in whichever sport that is being referenced. With all of this said, BLACKS are moving well beyond basketball and football. Tiger Woods shot that whole notion down of golf not being a sport for BLACKS, Arthur, Serena and Venus shot that notion down about tennis not being a sport for BLACKS. Vonetta Flowers, the first BLACK athlete to win a gold medal in the winter olympics, when she won the inaugural women's bobsled event, shot that notion down about sports that invlove cold weather not being sports for BLACKS . Along with Garret Hines and Randy Jones, who were the first BLACK U.S. men to win medals in the winter olympics when they brought home the silver in the four-man bobsled competition. So this whole thing with WHITE SPORTS and BLACK SPORTS is becoming a thing of the past.

This past weekend Bronx born and Jersey bred, Cullen Jones, made history as one of four men on the USA's winning 4X100 freestyle relay team. They took the Gold with a world record time of 3 minutes, 8.24 seconds in a race that kept all viewers on the edge of thier seats. Jones, who almost drowned the first time he ever entered the pool, is now only the third BLACK person to qualify for the Olympics in swimming, Cullen Jones has also positioned himself as an advocate and ambassador of swimming for reluctant black children.

Jones is a graduate of North Carolina University, where he was an English major. He burst onto the international swimming scene at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships in Victoria, British Columbia. In the summer of 2006, he became a professional swimmer after signing with Nike.

People such as Jones, are definitely redefining the meaning of BLACK sports. We (BLACKS) are a determined group of people, who can compete with the best of them, in any sport when prepared, and when given the opportunity.

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