Although there aren’t a lot of African-American faces in U.S. swim, analysts believe that Reece Whitley is about to change this gap forever.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — Whitley, a 17-year-old, 6’9″ teen from Philly, is possibly the next big thing in swim.
— Live Swimming (@LiveSwim) June 28, 2017
According to Washington Post, advances in the sport of swim have been “painstakingly slow…inching along one athlete at a time.”
However, swimming analyst Rowdy Gaines has this to say about Reece Whitley.
“If he was just another white, 6-7 breaststroker, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. That’s why Reece is so important: what he can do for this sport, how he can promote it in a way no one has. The only stumbling block? He has to win. I know that’s obvious, but it’s the most important step, the biggest next step he has to take. He has to win.”
— Supperrb* (@supperrb) February 26, 2017
According to Gaines, Reece Whitley’s potential and skin color makes him — possibly — the most important male swimmer to come along since Michael Phelps.
— Domeyko Photography (@RafaelDomeyko) June 7, 2017
The Washington Post reports as follows.
“Even without elite training partners, Whitley reigns as the national age group record holder for 15- and 16-year-olds in the 200m breaststroke by nearly a full second, and he owns the short-course record in the same event by an astounding 2.5 seconds.”
Likewise, Sports Illustrated has noticed Whitley’s advancements as well. They labeled him “Sports Kid of the Year” in 2015.
— ohpleaze (@ohpleaze) April 20, 2016
Nevertheless, according to an interview with Washington Post, it seems that Reece Whitley is the No.1 recruit for the 2018 U.S. swim team.
— The Swimming Drills (@swimmingdrills) June 18, 2017
Whitley mentions as follows.
“This week, I want to swim as fast as I can, but if I walk away and I’m not on a team this summer but I swam my best times, yeah I’ll be disappointed I won’t be able to wear the American flag on my cap…but I want the best times. That’s what matters.”
Hopefully, Reece Whitley will make the cut. Analysts have a lot of faith in him as an athlete. I mean, he’s even appeared with Philly native Will Smith in a few photos.
Whitley…the next big thing in swim?
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]