February 27, 2017 | Updated at 06:53 PM EST The Latest Entertainment & Celebrity News

Cullen Jones, Olympic Champion, Gets Kids Swimming in New York [VIDEO]

The Olympic champ brings USA Swimming Foundation's Make A Splash initiative to New York elementary school.

By Xiomara Martinez-White, EnStars on May 21, 2013 08:29 AM EDT
facebook tweet this pin it reddit plus
Sign Up for Newsletter
Cullen Jones
Cullen Jones Speedo photo

With the Rio Olympics still years away, Olympic medalist Cullen Jones is taking time out to give back through the sport he loves.

Jones made a stop in Harlem, NY, last week to promote USA Swimming Foundation's Make A Splash initiative, as part of the group's national tour. Make A Splash is the national swimming group's anti-drowning program, which hopes to teach children safety techniques and basics of the sport; its motto is "Saving Lives, Building Champions."

Jones visited P.S. 152 in the neighborhood, and brought some of its youngest students into the pool for a swimming safety lesson. The children were taught how to blow water out of their noses and mouths and how to float. Jones helped to calm the fears of the more nervous swimming

"Fear trumps everything," Jones addressed during the presentation. "We need to change the perception of swimming from an activity to a life skill. We really need to get everyone water-safe."

Jones would know. Long before he was winning races with Michael Phelps (Jones was part of the gold medal winning relay in 2008), he too was a scared child who nearly drowned while visiting an amusement park.

"When I got to the bottom of the pool after the slide," Jones told Good Morning America in a 2008 interview, "I flipped upside down and I was holding onto the inner tube, upside down. I passed out, panicked. And my dad had to jump in and come save me."

The experience convinced him to start taking lessons.

Jones is a local Olympic hero in the New York area -- he was born in the Bronx and raised in New Jersey -- and one of the few black swimmers to have represented the United States at the highest levels.

According to Make A Splash's statistics, there are children of all backgrounds who lack the ability to swim, but the rate is especially high (70 percent) among African-Americans.

While Jones has been inspiring children in New York, he too has become inspired to push on in his own swimming exploits. He lost out of the gold medal in the 50m freestyle in London last year, and though he had contemplated retiring, his competitive spirit has reeled him back in.

"I'm going to be back," said Jones, looking ahead to Rio. "I'm going to get the gold."

Check out Jones' swimming lessons below:

© 2017 Enstarz, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

  • SEARCH ENSTARS

Latest News

Battlefield 1

‘Battlefield 1’ DLC Update: New ‘They Shall Not Pass’ Clips Feature Fort De Vaux and Rupture Maps

New clips for the first DLC "They Shall Not Pass" for "Battlefield 1" have emerged and it feature the new maps: Fort De Vaux and Rupture.

'How to Get Away with Murder'

'How To Get Away With Murder': Connor To Marry Oliver In Season 4? Karla Souza Teased On Possible Season 3 Finale Consequences [VIDEO]

Fans of American legal drama thriller, "How To Get Away With Murder" just witnessed a very mind-blowing, massive season 3 finale last Thursday.

Dr. Larry Nassar

Larry Nassar, Ex-Gymnastics Doctor Charged with Sexual Abuse; Horrific Acts on Minors Revealed

Dr. Larry Nassar is facing criminal charges in connection with sexual abuse claims of more than 80 women. He was also charged with child pornography in a separate case.

Better Call Saul Season 3

'Better Call Saul' Season 3 News: Release Date, New And Original Cast Confirmed; 'Breaking Bad' Character Hinted To Come Back [VIDEO]

American crime drama series, "Better Call Saul", is expected to come back this year with episodes from its brand new season. Set to air its third season a few weeks from now, fans are excited to see what's up ahead.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on Eating Reindeer | Met Gala 2016

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Updates: Couple Split Caused by Hubby? 'Pablo' Tour Reason, Wife Refuses Europe Trip?

Power couple Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West may be on the verge of separating some time soon.

Real Time Analytics