Missy Franklin

Many poor kids can't swim; Olympic champs throw a lifeline

Missy Franklin, Cullen Jones, Rowdy Gaines and a handful of other Olympic champions are climbing into the pool this summer to help American kids learn how to swim.

They've got plenty of work to do.

The USA Swimming Foundation's most recent survey, released Thursday, found nearly 64 percent of African-American kids, 45 percent of Hispanic kids and 79 percent of children in families that bring in less than $50,000 in annual income have little or no swimming ability.

The foundation is issuing $324,000 in grants this year to its Make A Splash program, which will help fund reduced-cost swim lessons to more than 25,000 children at 71 pools across 25 states. The foundation...

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