2013 Diversity Inclusion Award Winner

Maritza (Correia) McClendon is a woman that has made an impact in and out of the pool.  Her accomplishments in swimming are numerous.  Maritza was a six-time Florida high school champion in five different events, and she left the University of Georgia as a 27-time All-American. In 2001, she won a gold medal in the 800m freestyle and two relay bronze medals as a member of the U.S. World Championship Team in Japan. Two years later, Maritza earned a gold medal swimming in prelims of the 400m free relay at the World Championships, and in 2004, she earned an Olympic silver medal swimming prelims of the 400m free relay at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.  This marked the first time that an African-American woman was named to the U.S. Olympic Swim team.  

For years she has given her time to promote swimming through swim clinics in inner cities and motivational lectures. Since its inception she has actively supported the Make a Splash Initiative.  In 2011 she visited flew to Shreveport, LA to help the city overcome a tragic tragedy that impacted families in the community.  In 2013 through her work with Nike she along with Nike sponsored the 2013 Diversity in Aquatics Convention.  She has become a role model for a younger generation of female swimmers.  She has tirelessly promoted racial diversity in swimming.  Maritza McClendon is a mother, wife, swimmer, role model, champion and an ambassador for the sport of swimming that is making a difference in the lives of youths and adults around the country.    

USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Diversity & Inclusion Committee congratulate Maritza McClendon for being named the 2013 Diversity & Inclusion Award winner for her work in promoting diversity in swimming. 

Past Award Winners

  • 2012 Coach Hosea Holder
  • 2011 Commissioner El Franco Lee & Coach Johnnie Means
  • 2010 Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation
  • 2009 Arthur Lopez
  • 2008 Chuck Wielgus
  • 2007 Cullen Jones
  • 2006 Jim Ellis

The Diversity Inclusion Award is presented to an individual, group or organization that has positively heightened the awareness of inclusion efforts through various modes and media resulting in the increase and successful participation of currently underrepresented groups in the sport of swimming.  The winner of the award is chosen by the USA Swimming Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

If you would like more information about the Diversity Inclusion Award please contact USA Swimming Diversity Membership Specialist Manuel Banks at mbanks@usaswimming.org.

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