Cullen Jones

Cullen Andrew Jones (born February 29, 1984) is an American competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist who specializes in freestyle sprint events. As part of the American team, he holds the world record in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay (long course). At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he won silver medals in the 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay and the 50-meter freestyle, as well as the gold in the 4 x 100-metre medley.

Cullen Jones
Jones at St. Benedict's with Headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy
Personal information
Full nameCullen Andrew Jones
National team United States
Born (1984-02-29) February 29, 1984
New York City
Height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight210 lb (95 kg)
ClubWolfpack Elite
College teamNorth Carolina State University


Born in the Bronx borough of New York City, Jones moved to Irvington, New Jersey, while in elementary school. He learned to swim after he was rescued from a near-drowning at a splash-down pool at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania when he was five years old.[1][2] He became an age-group swimmer at Metro Express, a club team at the Jewish Community Center in West Orange, New Jersey under head coach Ed Nessel. Jones later switched teams to the Jersey Gators Swim Club in Cranford. Jones graduated from Saint Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark in 2002. While there, he swam for coach Glenn Cassidy and set numerous Essex County swimming records.

Swimming career

Jones attended North Carolina State University, where he studied English and swam for the NC State Wolfpack swimming and diving team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition from 2003 to 2006. He turned professional in the summer of 2006, after signing with Nike[3] and burst onto the scene shortly after at the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships where he set a meet record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 21.84 seconds. He also swam a leg (split of 47.96) in the world record breaking 4×100-meter freestyle relay along with Michael Phelps, Neil Walker and Jason Lezak. In 2007, he also won a gold medal in 4×100-meter freestyle relay with the same teammates in the 2007 World Aquatics Championships.

Jones is the first African-American to hold a world record (4×100-meter freestyle relay) in swimming.[4] At the 2008 United States Olympic Trials, Jones broke the American record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 21.59. The record was subsequently broken the next day by Garrett Weber-Gale. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, he won a gold medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in a world record time of 3:08.24 with Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak and Garrett Weber-Gale.

In July 2009, Jones set the American record in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.[5]

At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, the qualifying meet for the 2012 Olympics, Jones made the Olympic team for the second time by finishing first in the 50-meter freestyle and second in the 100-meter freestyle, which subsequently qualified him for the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. In the 50-meter freestyle final, Jones won with a time of 21.59, one one-hundredth (0.01) of a second ahead of second-place finisher Anthony Ervin (21.60).[6]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Jones won silver medals in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.[7] He earned a gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay after swimming the freestyle leg in the preliminaries.[8][9] He also competed in the 100-meter freestyle, but did not qualify for the event finals.[10]

Personal bests (long course)

Event Time Date Note(s)
50 m freestyle 21.40 July 2009
100 m freestyle 48.31 July 2008

Key: NR = National record

See also


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