Home‎ > ‎SwimTip‎ > ‎

Olympic Wednesday - Cullen Jones

posted Feb 25, 2016, 8:58 AM by Pat Windschitl   [ updated Feb 25, 2016, 9:30 AM ]
“I had to work hard to be successful at swimming. The first time I thought I was good enough to even go to college I was in my junior year of high school.”
- Cullen Jones


Cullen Jones earned a place on the U. S. National Team in 2005, qualifying for the World University Games where he won gold in the 50 free, becoming the first African American man to win a gold medal at the World University Games. 

In 2006, Jones became the first African American man to break a world record in swimming at the Pan Pacific Games as part of the 4 x 100 free relay. He also won the 50-meter freestyle, swimming the fastest time in the world that year. Jones was a four-time ACC Champion and 2006 NCAA Champion at North Carolina State University. 

Jones became the second African American to win an Olympic gold medal as part of the legendary 4 x 100 free relay team in Beijing that upset the heavily favored French team and set both Olympic and world records in the event. Jones set a new world record for his swim to earn a place on the team with a time of 47.61, a time that stood as record until broken in 2009.

Jones has been on the U. S. National Team since 2006 and served as the first major ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative. Jones continues to give back to the sport, hosting the Cullen Jones Diversity Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2013.  http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=0&itemid=7676&mid=14491


CULLEN JONES FUN FACTS


HIGH SCHOOL
St. Benedict’s Prep '02

COLLEGE
NC State '06

COLLEGE MAJOR
English (with minor in Psychology)

FUTURE PROFESSIONAL ASPIRATIONS
Write for a men’s fashion magazine, such as "GQ"

PARENTS
Ronald and Debra … Ronald (deceased) played basketball at a small college in the Bronx, and Debra was a dancer … Ronald died of lung cancer in 2000 when Cullen was 16. 

NOTABLE RELATIVE(S)
Distant relative (Rodney Wallace) was a former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle

STARTED SWIMMING
Age 8 ... "almost drowned".

SPORTS PLAYED BEFORE SWIMMING
Gymnastics, basketball

NICKNAME(S)
CJ, Nova

PET(S)
"We brought in a cat, and the first night we had her she jumped into my bed and scared everyone by hissing and swiping at us. I was 7 and slept with my parents."

HOBBIES OUTSIDE THE POOL
Playing video games, hanging out with friends

ULTIMATE WAY TO RELAX
Watch a movie, play some video games and fall asleep

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON
Late father Ronald and coach Ed Nessel ... role model: "My parents because they woke me up for practice in the morning; that's brave!"

CHARITIES
Ronald Jones Foundation

MORE
Is working with "Do Tell Productions" on a documentary about the Flaherty Dolphins, a team from Boston that is made up mostly of kids of color ... the film will follow the lives a few swimmers on the team, in addition to Jones' journey to the 2008 Olympic Games

FAVORITES
U.S. city: New York City ... int'l destination: London ... band: Linkin Park ... celebrity: Michael Jordan; "I like to model my attitude after him." ... summer activity: going to amusement parks ... movies: Snatch, Van Wilder, Just Friends, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Waiting ... tv: Nip/Tuck, Dirt, Weeds.



Through the course of the high school swimming seasons we will starting a new weekly video session before practice: Olympic Wednesdays. On these Wednesday's the Senior and Age Group teams will watch videos on different Olympic Swimmers that show off a bit of their life, training, and background.
Comments