Cullen Jones Helps USA Shatter World Record to Win Gold Medal In the 4X100 Freestyle Relay

Regardless of who does what, these games will most likely be remembered for what Michael Phelps accomplishes as he sets out to break Mark Spitz’s record and win an unprecedented eight gold medals…

but there’s been a gate crasher in one Cullen Jones.

In the preliminary heats Cullen and his teammates shattered the world record in the 4X100 Freestyle–leaving US coach Eddie Reese with a decision of who to add to the finals team of Phelps, Jason Lezak and Garrett Weber-Gale.

The decision most likely became obvious after Jones’ sub-48 split was the deciding factor in the prelims. Jones was part of the team that broke the world record in 2006.

Alain Bernard earlier was quoted as saying: “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for.”

The French were favored to win the event and become just the third team besides the Americans to win the relay.

Ironically, Lezak’s 46.06…the fastest split ever…chased down Bernard on the last leg to complete a world record breaking performance. USA shattered the 15 hour record by an astounding four seconds. Lezak touched the wall 8/100ths before Bernard to bail out the USA team who gotten off to an early lead.

Jones, a NC State product and Bronx native, is an ambassador of sorts in the pool. He’d learned to swim after almost drowning as a youngster. He and his family were enjoying themselves at a water park when Jones’ inner tube pinned him upside down after coming down a big water slide. His father Ronald pulled the then 5 year old out of the water and life guards had to resuscitate Jones. After learning from what could have been tragic, all he’s wanted to do is raise awareness by helping Blacks understand the importance of learning how to swim.

His father died of cancer in 2000 and never got the chance to see his son set a world record mark or earn the scholarship to NC State.

Do your part people and as we’ve all seen this past weekend with the deaths of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes, cherish the days of time spent with your loved ones. Cullen has “41” tattooed on his back in tribute to his father.

Crazy how life happens to give you the passion to achieve and also educate.

Six in ten Blacks cannot swim and Blacks are three times more likely to drown than their White counterparts. (University of Memphis and Centers for Disease Control study)

That has to change people. It really has nothing to do with the sport; it’s more about promoting obvious water safety. Jones is helping to propagate change through the Make a Splash program.

At 24, he’s still young enough to get back to the Olympics in 2012 and make an impact individually. He was pretty upset he barely finished third in the 50 freestyle, thusly not qualifying for an individual event in Beijing.

He still has a gold to show for it and while he struggled a bit on his leg, Jones in the process became part of the most memorable races in Olympic history.

Cullen Jones becomes the second Black to win a gold medal (Anthony Ervin in 2000), which is apropos on the 40 year anniversary of Tommie Smith and John Carlos very historical Olympic protest in Mexico City.

Here’s a video pre-Olympics when Jones was featured on the BET production, Ballers…

23 Responses to “Cullen Jones Helps USA Shatter World Record to Win Gold Medal In the 4X100 Freestyle Relay”

  1. Co Co says:

    That race was amazing! You know how they say you never forget how to swim, that’s not true because I took swimming lessons as a kid and I can’t swim on top of water anymore!!!!! I can still swim under water though…..

  2. michelle says:

    I second Co Co. That was an exciting race. The captain was amazing at the end.

    Cullen should be an inspiration to us all. Reach for the stars and your dreams came come true. He now has a gold medal. Good work kid!

    AWESOME!

  3. michelle says:

    Folks listen to Cullen. If your kids don’t already know how to swim then make sure they learn.

  4. Michael watching Jones and company win the relay last night, made me change up my daily workouts from running to swimming. I usually swim in the fall but I started today.

    What a great accomplishment!

  5. ronglover says:

    I hate to admit this but I can’t swim. I just have this fear of drowning, but I love to be in the water. Anything close to being over my head and my body tenses up. I know I’m supposed to relax in my mind but my body doesn’t get the memo.

  6. DeeGoodie says:

    Congrats on a job well done for the 4 x 100 Men’s Relay team. A special congrats to Cullen Jones! I was fortunate enough to grow up with a pool in my backyard, so I learned early on how to swim. I also became a lifeguard and I have been blessed to enjoy the benefits of swimming. I am committed to giving back to younger African-American people to get them involved in swimming. Go Cullen Go!!!

  7. Temple3 says:

    If the captain didn’t strong arm that race and snatch the victory away in the last 50M, Cullen Jones would be hurting today. You could see the immeasurable gratitude and amazement on his face when the team pulled it out. He has a great deal of room to grow in the sport (even though he’s already 24) and he’s already established himself among the elite.

    It will be interesting to see how he progresses over the next few years. He could stand to add some muscle.

  8. DW says:

    I feel it is truly unfair and false to say that Cullen stuggled. He was swimming against France’s Bousquet who’s time was 46. 63 in the relay final and 46.63 in the semi-final relay heat. Cullen swam against France’s fastest swimmer in final event. There wasn’t and isn’t a member on the US relay team who could have beaten that time except for Lasik (who swam anchor in 46.06). Even Frances anchor Bernard’s time was 46.73 in the final. He didn’t struggle, he was swimming against Frances’ best swimmer.

  9. Miranda says:

    This is what I love about the Olympics, you can totally forget everything and just enjoy the moment of victory for these fellow citizens….it was amazing to watch, amazing to see their faces. Beautiful.

  10. Mizzo says:

    You are so right Miranda. This is how sports should be seen. It does make you proud.

    DW I agree with you, but trust if you ask Cullen, he would say the same.

  11. michelle says:

    Temple3,

    Always the coach.

    DW,

    Thanks for the info.

    I agree with you both.

  12. michelle says:

    How about the gymnast from China, they are incredible!

    Michael Phelps continues to do his thing. I haven’t watched the Olympics this closely since I was a kid. I must admit I’m hooked again.

  13. michelle says:

    Okori,

    That’s what’s up!

  14. Okori says:

    which? the preview or me posting the Volk Han submissions demo? or the vid right above it which you should watch like NOW.

  15. Okori says:

    and for the record Michelle….. the Russians are scary. like there is no emotion in their face at all as they just dismantle you slowly.

  16. Temple3 says:

    DW – nice point…

    I looked at the split times for all the swimmers. CJ had the 2nd slowest time of all and it was .04 slower than the time he swam earlier in the day. One could make a case that had he not swam earlier in the day (47.61), he might have had a stronger time in the final. In any event, had the US lost, the swimmer with the slowest split time would have probably caught the hell — especially given that the anchor swam 46.06 and that Phelps now holds the national record with his 47.51. Those are teflon times…

    I am happy as heck for Cullen Jones – but I wouldn’t be surprised if his first born child is named Lezak Jones.

    The interesting thing about this race: If you take out Lezak’s anchor for the US and Leveaux lead leg for France (a difference of nearly 2 whole seconds), France’s other swimmers were absolutely flying (hence all the Smack Talk). They swam 46.63, 46.73 and 47.05. The Americans swam 47.02, 47.51 and 47.65. Whew!!

    I wonder what kind of treatment Leveaux is getting in France today after his 47.91.

  17. michelle says:

    Okori,

    The demo. I agree with you regarding the Russians. They do look a little scary. I’m really impressed with team China. The way they are holding it down at home is wonderful. Team USA is representing well also. I thought Gasol and team Spain might be a problem for the us until they needed OT to beat China.

  18. Okori says:

    oh ok. did you see the vid right above the demo? cuz I actually have a submissions demo I forwarded to someone who does a self-defense class.

  19. michelle says:

    Okori,

    Thanks! I will have to check it out.

  20. Mizzo says:

    Okori I guess you didn’t get my email?

  21. Okori says:

    I did. Once I got home. :) which would be 5 to 10 mins from the time stamped on this comment.

  22. TC says:

    That was an amazing race. Bernard was up by probably 4 ft. or so with about 30 m. to go. Bernard musta been hatin’ life. That was a hell of a leg by Lezak…and congrats to Jones also. Perseverance pays off. I hope he’ll be back in ’12 also.

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