-- Cullen Jones, Swimming
From a little boy in his bathtub to an Olympic swimmer, Cullen Jones was always his mom's "water baby," and his mom was always his "No. 1 cheerleader." He is the first African-American to hold or share a world record (4x100 meter freestyle relay) in swimming. At the end of his races, Cullen's mom is always cheering the loudest, and for that he would like to say, "Thanks, Mom."
This type of media attention because of the success of swimming in the 2008 Summer Olympics hones in on two things: Water Safety/Sport and Support. We see that with the support of family, you can live your dreams with the opportunity that is given to you. So, with all the hoopla of pools shutting down and lifeguards NOT on duty due to financial constrainting budgets and families sacrificing extracurricular activities just to make ends meet because they have to find a job or work more. We find yet again hope out there in the form of company/corporate support. As aquatics folks we need to push commericals like these to mainstream TV. We don't we see something like this before major sporting events or children's shows or during sweeps week. We know the statistics. We watch more TV in the U.S. than any other country. Why not fill it with positive messages like these two? Wouldn't it make a difference for people who are not apt to get into the water and swim or make it a reminder about water safety?. Especially, if the environment does not allow them. Again, to see the Aquatics International July article about Racial Divide Persists in Swimming coupled with the 6 teens drowning. Brings the article to reality. TV is a powerful medium and if used correctly can save lives. Somewhere some person sees that Cullen Jones commercial and is affected by it so much that they want to swim. That's the power of images.