In response to the recent situation where 65 African American children had their club membership rescinded at The Valley Swim Club in suburban Philadelphia, PA, USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus, and Olympic gold medalist and African-American swimmer Cullen Jones have issued the following statements:
"The acts of blatant racism shown towards the young kids with Creative Steps Day Camp in Philadelphia have no place in America and should not be tolerated by anyone. As a member of the USA Swimming's National Team and an African-American in the sport of swimming, hearing about what's happened to these 65 kids is both disturbing and appalling. I work hard everyday through my efforts with the USA Swimming Foundation and Make a Splash to increase the exposure for as well as enhance the number of African-American and Hispanic young people entering the sport of swimming, not just because it's a great sport, but because learning to swim and understanding the importance of being safe in and around the water are life-saving skills that no one should be denied.”
- Cullen Jones, Member of the US National Swim Team and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist
"The alleged statements of the Valley Swim Club and its president, John Duesler, are disheartening especially as we are working hard to try to increase diversity in pools across America. We do hope this unfortunate incident, or others like it, will not prevent or dissuade young people of color or other minority children from learning to swim. All kids, regardless of ethnicity or economic backgrounds deserve the opportunity to learn to swim and enjoy the sport."
Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director, USA Swimming and CEO, USA Swimming Foundation
Swimming World is following this closely, keep your out for news regarding statements, videos and commentary.
Thanks to everyone who contacted USA Swimming yesterday.