17 tear-old Lia Neal has become only the second African American woman to make the U.S. Olympic Swim Team.
Meanwhile fellow swimmer Anthony Ervin, who is of African American and American Indian descent, came in just behind gold medalist Cullen Jones (also African American) and also made the team.
Collectively, their victories are major wins for diversity on the Olympic swim team, which has never seen more than one African American team member!
“Neal knows she is a role model because she hears it from the children on her team daily.
‘I’m very flattered,’ she said. ‘Swimming is becoming more and more diverse in the sport. The Make a Splash Foundation, they’re trying to get minorities in the water and be water safe, and I think that’s really great. With me being in New York, I guess it’s a predominantly white sport, but you still see a lot of Chinese people and Hispanics, especially my team. We’re so diverse.’
Frank Busch, the USA Swimming national team director, is clearly thrilled to see the multiracial makeup of this year’s Olympic team.
‘It’s so cool,’ he said. ‘Anytime there’s a breakthrough of any sort like this, it’s great for everything. It’s great for society. It’s great for our sport. It just shows that we’re branching out and people do get a chance no matter where they’re from — they’ll have a chance if that’s what they want.'”
Congratulations to Neal, Ervin, and Jones on their phenomenal achievements!
Are you excited to see diversity on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team?
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