Jones Sets Sights on 2016 Olympics
Aug. 23, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Cullen Jones had two little pieces of NC State with him when he left for the 2012 London Olympics – a picture of his late father that he has taken with him to every major competition since the ACC Championships his freshman year and a jacket he had made while he was still in school.
“The picture has always been my lucky charm,” Jones said. “And the jacket I take with me to all the big meets.”
Jones, the only NC State graduate to compete for the U.S. at this year’s Games, is proud of his accomplishments in his second Olympics. He won a gold medal and set a world record in his inaugural trip in the 4x100-meter relay in Beijing, China. He won another gold as a member of the 4x100-meter medley relay team and a silver as a member of the 4x100-meter freestyle team.
What the former NCAA sprint champion while with the Wolfpack will remember most about this Olympics is the silver medal he won in the 50-meter freestyle for his first individual hardware. He was a little disappointed that he didn’t make the finals in his fourth event, the 100-meter freestyle.
“The 100-free didn’t go exactly as I wanted, and that hurt a lot,” Jones said. “I know I could swim better and faster. But you can’t have the good without the bad. I was just glad that I got over the disappointment of the 100, cleared my head and turned it around for the 50-free.”
Jones, who lives and trains in Charlotte, says he has no plans to slow down on his training regimen. He and long-time competition roommate Ryan Lochte both plan on going to Rio de Janeiro in four years, with the hope of bringing home even more medals for the U.S. Olympic team.
“Silver is great, but I still want to get that individual goal medal,” Jones said. “I know I can still compete at that level.”