Lia Neal, Olympic Heroine
As the black middle class rebounds from the consequences of the Great Recession, it is nice to see that there is still an ongoing challenge to diversify “white sports” continues. Of course there are no real white sports, the racial divide is caused by cost of white dominated athletics. It is expensive to secure training, equipment and rent places to practice. Somehow this goes over the heads of those, like Jimmy Breslin who say that blacks have a genetic advantage at track, football & basketball. Individual genetics and hard work is what make a good athlete, not the color of their skin and ladies like Lia Neal prove that fact.
Ms. Neal, a 17-year-old from Brooklyn, finished fourth in the 100-meter freestyle at the Olympic trials to earn a spot on the women’s 400 freestyle relay. She is one of three swimmers (along with Cullen Jones & Anthony Ervin) with African-American roots on a U.S. Olympic team. Lia is the second female swimmer of African-American descent to make an American Olympic team. The first was Maritza Correia, who was a member of the silver-medal-winning 400-meter freestyle relay team at the 2004 Athens Games. Neal has embraced her status as a role model as a spokesman for the Make a Splash Foundation, organization that teaches water safety to minority children. Racist jerks like Jimmy Breslin can eat their heart out as America cheers Lia on to Olympic victory.