Cullen Jones Unsure About Future, Hasn’t Ruled Out 2020

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By David Rieder.

Cullen Jones, a member of the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams, is not currently training or competing but has not ruled out a run at a third Olympics in 2020. Jones finished third in the 50 free at the 2016 Olympic Trials and then third in the event at 2017 Nationals, missing the World Championships team by just two hundredths.

But Jones has not raced since the TYR Pro Swim Series in April in Mesa, Ariz., skipping this summer’s Nationals, leaving his future in the sport in doubt.

Monday evening at Golden Goggles, where Jones joined Kaitlin Sandeno as host of USA Swimming’s red carpet show, Jones explained some of his goals and future plans, which included returning to Charlotte, his home for almost ten years up through 2016, and building a swim school. Jones is currently in Raleigh finishing up his undergraduate degree at NC State.

As for his future, Jones says he is leaving his options open.

“I know what I have to do to make the team, to give it another go. I feel great. It’s just about whether I want to put in that effort again. I’m happy with where I am right now, and I think that if I get the swim school up and I get content, I have time to make the decision again. It usually takes me only about seven or eight months to be where I need to be. I’m a little older, so maybe I need to give it nine. I’ll come to that decision when I need to,” Jones said.

“This is the longest I’ve been out, and I’m still somewhat in shape. I’ve been trying to keep myself in shape in case I want to do that. I’ve been in touch with some coaches that I would love to go train with if I was going to go for 2020. They said yes. My finger is on the button.”

Jones, 34, was the silver medalist in the 50 free at both the 2012 Olympics and 2007 World Championships, and he formerly held the American record in the event. Jones also won two Olympic gold medals on relays, on the 4×100 free relay in 2008 and on the 4×100 medley relay in 2012, as well as a silver in the 4×100 free relay in 2012.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. Barbara Chambers

    He is a great swimmer. I hope he can continue. He is another great representative of swimming.

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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