Cullen Jones may be our most valuable Olympian. He is the one standing next to Oprah and Michael Phelps. (Photo from Wikipedia.)
From the Telegraph. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read the synopsis:
Year-after-year I read about horrific drownings while looking for stories for this blog. Sometimes I get so rattled, especially the stories where families lose a child or a child is rendered near brain dead, that I can't think or blog for some minutes.
"...In Friday morning’s Black Men Can’t Swim (Radio 4) Matt Blaize, a non-swimming actor and comedian, attempted to find the true reasons for the dearth of elite black swimmers. He interviewed one, Cullen Jones, an American who, after winning a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics last year, is a living affront to the programme’s titular myth. ..."
"... The pertinent point, Blaize concluded, wasn’t biological; it was cultural. Black parents don’t swim, so black children don’t swim either. ..."
I am convinced that the ability to swim should be a mandated skill before the first-or second-grade much like vaccinations are mandated when you go to enroll your child in public school.
The United States, or any country for that matter, would be unstoppable in the pool if our less advantaged populations had more aquatic opportunities.