PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Celebrating Black History Month.

Students at Pittsburgh Obama School were recently surprised with a visit from Olympic medalist swimmer, Cullen Jones.

“I was the only African American on the team, the only one,” said Jones. “At that time, it hit me so hard of what was really happening and what I was doing at that time.”

The students also heard from Pittsburgh Stingrays coach, Hosea Holder, who has been teaching young people how to swim for 47 years.

“All you have to do is sign up, show up and we’ll take care of the rest,” he told the students.

Cullen says swimming turned him in the right direction.

“I believe that swimming changed my life,” he said. “And I believe it can change your life.”

Holder believes that if kids give swimming a chance it can change their life just like any other sport.

“Swimming is a lifetime skill,” Holder said.

The idea that African Americans don’t like to swim or can’t swim is a myth that both Jones and Holder hope to stop.

“I work in a community that swimming can be scary. It’s something that we’ve never done, we’ve never tried to do” Cullen said. “But we’ve never tried tennis either, we’ve never tried golf either, but we’ve done very well in both and I would like to think swimming is next.”

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