When you think about people who can’t swim, small children probably come to mind. But there are plenty of adults who never learned either, including Jay-Z. But the “Empire State of Mind” rapper recently revealed that he took the plunge and learned how to swim following daughter Blue Ivy’s birth in 2012.
While being interviewed on HBO Max’s series The Shop: Uninterrupted, he offered learning to swim as an example when asked by WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike about what it’s like being a father to daughters
“It’s amazing. It’s a very grounding thing,” he said of becoming a dad. “I didn’t learn how to swim until Blue Ivy was born. There goes everything you need to know. This is a metaphor for our relationship. If she ever fell in the water and I couldn’t get her, I couldn’t even fathom that thought. I gotta learn how to swim. That’s it. That was the beginning of our relationship.”
It turns out in the case of swimming, Jay-Z is not alone. In a survey done for the Red Cross, researchers found that while 80 percent of Americans said they could swim, “only 56 percent of the self-described swimmers can perform all five of the basic skills that could save their life in the water.”
And according to the World Health Organization, drowning accounts for a third of all unintentional injury deaths globally, with about 360,000 deaths annually.
Obviously, Jay-Z has a lot to keep up with, both in and out of the water. In addition to 9-year-old Blue, JAY and Beyoncé are parents to 3-year-old twins Rumi and Sir and both parents have bustling careers.
Maybe Jay-Z’s dive into swimming will inspire others to do the same.
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