Natalie Hinds, from Midland, Texas, swims for the University of Florida Gators and is a multi-time All-American sprinter with over 15 All-America honors. She recently swam in the U.S. Olympic trials in 3 of her favorite events; 50 free, 100 free and the 100 butterfly. While she did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics, we hope to see her compete in the future. Hinds became a household name her Junior year at the University of Florida when she, Lia Neal and Simone Manuel swept the 100 free at the NCAA Championships. This was the first time Black swimmers took first, second and third place in a single event.
Our fourth pick for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swim Team is Natalie Hinds for the 100 butterfly and 100 free.
Just as impressive as her performance in the pool, is Hind’s desire to bring diversity to the sport of swimming. Growing up as a competitive swimmer, Hinds was frequently the only African American participating in select meets; “I would be the only swimmer there from my club. So being there alone, and being in such a minority, you could definitely feel lonely.” Hinds has noticed that the sport is changing and wants to be a part of the effort to teach more Black children how to swim. When she meets kids who don’t know how to swim, which happens very often, she says “You have to learn, it’s really important.”
The CDC reports that 70% of African Americans lack basic swimming skills, and this is something Hinds is committed to changing “…I have been looking at people to contact about what we can do, whether it’s an after-school program, for them to learn how to swim – one of the keys is to enlist the people in authority who can make these decisions, because everyone knows this is a good, important direction to pursue. We just have to get it done.”
Well said Natalie! We welcome your support. Together, we can CHANGE THE TIDE!
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