19 Jun Cullen Jones
Speaker: Cullen Jones
Olympic Gold Medalist, Swimming
- Overcoming Adversity
- African American Issues
Keynote speaker Cullen Jones burst onto the swimming scene at the 2005 World University. He easily won the Gold Medal in the 50 freestyle and became the first African-American Male to win a Gold Medal at the World University Games. Cullen continues to dominate the 50 meter sprint event and has also become a threat in the 100 meter freestyle. At the 2006 Pan Pacific Games, Cullen became the first African American to break a world record in swimming in an Olympic contested event as a part of the USA’s 4 X 100 Freestyle Relay Team. He also won the 50 meter freestyle swimming the fastest time in the world for 2006. Cullen was a 4 time ACC Champion and 2006 NCAA Champion from North Carolina State University.
Cullen proved that he is one of the swiftest swimmers on the planet in 2008 when he became the second African-American in history to win an Olympic Gold medal in swimming. An ambassador for African-American swimmers, Jones wanted to shatter stereotypes one lap at a time, eager to spread his message that, yeah, black kids can swim, too. Jones accomplished that by helping the 4X100 freestyle relay team win the Gold medal in a comeback for the ages. In a race soaked with drama and subplots, the Americans shattered the world record they had set just hours earlier in the prelims, blistering through the water in 3 minutes, 8.24 seconds. Cullen went on to break the 50m free American record and won gold in the men’s 4x100m free relay at the 2009 World Championships. He is currently busy training for the 2012 London Olympics.
In his spare time he gives back to the community through motivational speaking, youth clinics, and even private lessons. Working with USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Program, Cullen is dedicated to helping minorities learn how to swim. Expect a lot out of Cullen. He expects a lot of himself.
African American Issues