It is hard to imagine there was ever a time when Olympian and USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador Cullen Jones was afraid to put his face in the water, but such was the case, as Jones almost drowned when he was 5 years old. His mother put him in swim lessons shortly after the incident and his natural talent in the water took it from there.
In an effort to reduce childhood drowning, Jones often relays his story to young children in order to convey that anyone can learn how to swim. Jones is an ambassador for USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make a Splash” initiative, a program aimed at promoting water safety on a national level.
With Jones personifying the organization’s motto, “supporting programs that save lives and build champions in the pool and in life”, he travels throughout the United States conducting clinics and opportunities for children in American to learn to swim.
As he interacts with these children and sees their development, Jones says in the video that he “sees himself in some of these kids.” He also relays that “seeing kids put their faces in the water for the first time, blowing bubbles for the first time – these little triumphs fuel me in my own devotion to the sport.”
According to USA Swimming Foundation “Make a Splash” statistics, ten people drown each day in the United States, and 70% of African-American children, 60% of Latino children and 40% of Caucasian children have low or no swimming ability. Cullen Jones is on a mission to combat these statistics and, as seen in the video, is achieving this goal with a passion.