Maritza Correia could have competed with her native Puerto Rico, or even Guyana, her parents' ancestral home. But she chose to represent the US in the Olympic games. Arelene Semeco, Arianna Vanderpool Wallace, and Alia Atkinson all train in the US, but chose to represent their native countries in the Olympics. Did this strategy give them longevity? Did Maritza's decision strengthen or weaken her swimming? Or does it not matter at all?
I'm not sure if Maritza's or any of the other swimmers decision strengthened or weakened their swimming. One thing I think they did that I admire was hopefully inspire other children of color from their countries to get into the water. The odds of them having the opportunity to inspire the same groups here in the US is not very high in my opinion.
Angela, I welcome you to do some research about the NCAA women's swim program at the University of Georgia, where Maritza attended. She and her teammates broke many SEC and team records like you would not believe. There are sisters there that will blow you away. And you should go to a SEC meet or two, if for no other reason than the experience of watching sisters (and a few brothers) do their thing.
I agree, my sister swims for Vanderbilt and she saw a number of steller athletes at the meet winning big. It would be interesting to compare conferences and divisions to see where many minority swimmers/divers are ending up. If anybody knows how to get in contact with these athletes (webpages, email, etc.) I would love to know and invite them to some events in DC
I have been out of the loop for awhile, so sorry about that. I recommend starting with NCAA swimming to find out where the swimmers are competing, especially Black swimmers and other swimmers of color. These statistics are requested by the NCAA and colleges. Keep in mind that race consciousness is bigger here in the USA than most other countries world-wide (most unfortunate), so if you find a swimmer of color at a US college from Tobago, that person may not identify as a black person, but as "Tobagan". All of the conferences supporting swimming also know who and where the swimmers are located. This sounds like a good project for a master's candidate. Nationality is strong with most people, hence the reason for identifying with country. We in America are proud of our heritage, and it shows all the time. I hope these comments help.