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Cullen Jones, World’s Fastest Swimmer
Spoke to 500 at Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club

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After a tour of ISHOF and taping an interview for ISHOF’s website, Bruce Wigo introduced Cullen Jones, to an enthusiastic crowd of 500 at the Carver Ranches Boys & Girls Club in Hollywood, Florida on January 5, 2007.

The fastest swimmer in the World in the 50 meter freestyle and member of the World Record breaking 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay in 2006, gave a very motivational talk which was followed by an exhibition in the Club pool, that included a race against members of the local Florida Aquatics Swim team. 

"One of my big goals is to have teams with blacks and Latinos and other minority groups and have them swim against the bigger [clubs]," Jones said. "I swam on a minority team, but it wasn't until I swam against the best that I found out what I needed to work on.

"I also want to help kids get from high school to college and let them know there is a future in swimming. You never know where it might lead. If somebody had told me I would sign with Nike, I would have laughed. Keep training and you might get to go to the Olympics and sign a deal."

By USA Swimming accounts, less than one percent of 232,000 competitive swimmers in the United States are black. In the Olympics, the U.S. has had just four blacks participate in aquatic sports in the Olympic Games -- Anthony Ervin in 2000 and Maritza Correia in 2004 represented the USA in swimming and in 2004 Genai Kerr and Omar Amr represented the USA in water polo.

Jones’ appearance will also included a preview of the upcoming Lionsgate film “PRIDE,” starring Terrence Howard and Bernie Mack, based on a true story about Jim Ellis, a black swim coach in Philadelphia in the 1970’s, who overcame racism and other obstacles to build a championship swim team.  To see a trailer of the film, to be released in late March, go to www.pridefilm.com

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