NJ.com: Irvington's Jones helps U.S. win Olympic gold
BEIJING - When Cullen Jones powered through the water Sunday night, chasing history, the charismatic kid who learned to swim in Newark could hear the roar from a half a world away. Amid the deafening cheers from the thousands squeezed into the National Aquatics Center, Jones felt the support from the scores of people that he touched along an incredible and unlikely path that began in inner city pools and led him here to the world's biggest stage.
An ambassador for African American swimmers, Jones wanted to shatter stereotypes one lap at a time, eager to spread his message that, yeah, black kids can swim too.
He also wanted to help out a buddy on his own personal mission.
Jones accomplished both by helping the 4X100 freestyle relay team win the gold medal in a comeback for the ages. In a race soaked with drama and subplots, the Americans shattered the world record they had set just hours earlier in the prelims, blistering through the water in 3 minutes, 8.24 seconds.