Former N.C. State star Cullen Jones won a silver medal Friday in the men's 50-meter freestyle.
Olympians and Navy SEALs will be among the guests this weekend as more
than 700 swimmers from around the nation converge at the Triangle
Aquatic Center in Cary for the eighth annual National Black Heritage
Championship Swim Meet.
2008 Olympic gold-medalist and former N.C. State swimming star Cullen
Jones will sign autographs on Sunday, and he also will swim two
50-meter freestyle exhibitions with 14 meet participants whose names
will be drawn on Friday, according to an event news release.
2004 Olympic silver-medalist Maritza Correia will host a clinic at 7:30
p.m. Friday and will hold three mini-clinics for meet participants on
Saturday. She also will be the keynote speaker at Friday's community
breakfast honoring minority swimming pioneers. The 9-11 a.m. breakfast
is open to the public.
Olympic gold medal swimmer and NC State grad Cullen Jones appears in one of the segments on tonight's (10 p.m.) September premiere of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."
"The Swim Gap" explores the relationship between race and swimming in the U.S., and Jones' mission to bring down the number of African-Americans who don't know how to swim.
That gap is significant -- black children drown at a rate more than three times greater than whites and as many as 75 percent of African-Americans don't know how to swim.
N.C. State Chancellor James Oblinger authored his second state-of-the-university address today, speaking for more than 30 minutes on topics ranging from the budget crunch to a recently-concluded, $1 billion fundraising campaign.
You can watch the speech here, or read the transcript by clicking on the attachment below.
Among Oblinger's shout-outs, the chancellor recognized notable alums like Robert Gibbs - the new White House Press Secretary - and Cullen Jones, an Olympic swimming gold medalis.
He also noted that the ongoing budget crisis may force NCSU to shave up to $36 million from its budget, a reduction that will may force layoffs.
He also mentioned Kay Yow, NCSU's women's basketball coach who recently succumbed to cancer.
"You know that her presence will be felt at N.C. State for a long time to come," he said, according to the transcript. "While we are sad at her passing, I think I speak for everyone who knew her - or knew of her - when I say the greatest loss is the succession of student athletes and community members who will not get to know Kay Yow. N.C. State remembers."
I mentioned Cullen Jones' goal of encouraging minorities to learn to swim in today's column about his Cary-based agent (who also represents Nastia Liukin and Dara Torres, among others), but it's worth going into a little more detail, because it's a worthwhile project that deserves some publicity.
UPDATE: Cullen Jones' swimming diversity project is still in an embryonic stage, but anyone interesting in helping can contact his agency, PMG Sports: