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All eyes will be on Dr. Cecil Gordon in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil during the Summer Olympics at the high-stakes swim meets. Dr. Gordon is the first African-American to officiate an Olympic swim meet event, and his unlikely journey to the world stage is astounding.

Gordon, a native of Hamlet, N.C., does not have a background in swimming but came to love the sport after attending college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Swimming was a required course in undergrad for Gordon and from there he never looked back. Once settled in Wilmington, Delaware, Gordon became a swim official after his son and daughter, now both adults, became competitive swimmers.

Gordon, 63, currently runs a private practice of obstetrics and gynecology and is also an associate professor at Thomas Jefferson University. While there are several Black swim meet officials at state and local meets across the United States, it is rare that a person of color gets to officiate an international event, much less the largest one in the world.

Gordon hopes to serve as an inspiration to other African-Americans who wish to enter the sport, and to blaze a trail for other Black swim meet officials in the future.

(Photo: Cecil Gordon)

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