African American Swimmer Wins Gold Medal

Cullen Jones, only the second African American to ever swim on the US Olympic swim team, won a gold medal in the 4×100 free relay that broke the world record and also upset the French team in an unbelievable comeback finish.

Cullen, who nearly drowned as a young boy, is also a spokesperson for USA Swimming’s Make a Splash program which is promoting swimming among minorities. It has been shown that among ethnically diverse groups, they are nearly three times more likely to drown than the national average.

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2 thoughts on “African American Swimmer Wins Gold Medal

  1. “It has been shown that among ethnically diverse groups, they are nearly three times more likely to drown than the national average.”

    The site talks about African American and Latino people, to the exclusion of people of East Asian, South Asian, Native American, or other backgrounds. Why use the term ‘ethnically diverse groups’ to refer only to a subset of ethnic minorities in America? Those groups may have among the lowest rates of exposure to swimming or somewhat lower buoyancy, but that does not detract from the diversity of other groups. Why not say, ‘members of groups X and Y have elevated rates A and B’ without the appropriation of the general term?

  2. Talk of “ethnically diverse groups” comes directly from the full study report, which you can download from the site linked in the post. It’s true that, in that report, “Asian/Asian Americans” and “American Indian and Alask Native” (their categories) were represented as respondents below their national averages (in the study, 3.1% and 0.9% respectively), and my guess is that this is a function, in part, of “ethnically diverse groups” being a euphemism for “kids at inner city YMCAs in 6 large metro US cities”. So, it’s not that minority groups other than AA and L are absent altogether from the report that provides the data the site draws on, but that from data large differences that are swimming related can be seen between AA and all other populations they looked at.

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