On Sunday, Sept. 9 the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center (RBAC) welcomed U.S. Olympian Cullen Jones who led a program on achieving goals while stressing water safety. Jones, who almost drowned as a young child, became an advocate for teaching young children to swim, which he sees as the best form of teaching water safety. As an accomplished athlete, he also counsels young people to strive for excellence in all that they do.
Jones addressed over 80 swim team members and numerous parents, encouraging all to stay involved with the sport of swimming and to accomplish their goals.
“The team chanted ‘USA, USA, USA’ as he approached,” said Leah McCrary, RBAC Swim Team parent. “He brought his medals, wearing them around his neck, and the Olympic spirit to our deck. It is so thrilling and motivating for these swimmers to be in the presence of a world-class athlete.”
In 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, Jones became the second African-American in history to win an Olympic Gold medal in swimming when he assisted his relay team of Lezak, Phelps and Weber-Gale to win gold over the French in the 4×100 men’s freestyle relay.
Following the presentation, team members were able to participate in a question and answer session and take photos.
“We had a great day with Cullen Jones,” said Jeff Julian, RBAC head coach, swim. “He is very approachable and so relaxed when he is in the pool environment. But he makes it clear that excellence is achieved and Olympic medals are won only with determination and discipline.”