Meet Keaton Jones: Rising swimming star and Guinness world record holder

American swimmer Keaton Jones
American swimmer Keaton Jones. Photo Courtesy of Keaton Jones

Rising swimming star and Guinness world record holder Keaton Jones chatted with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about his athletic career in swimming.

A proud Cal Bear

On being a Cal Bear, he said, “I don’t think it has sunk in yet. It is pretty great. I am just getting settled. Practice starts next week so I am excited about that.”

“My parents got me into swimming,” he admitted. “They wanted to make sure that I knew how to swim. My dad grew up in California, so he was invested in me being able to survive and in drowning prevention. I started really young, and my mom got me in Y lessons when I was young. I joined my first club at the age of five in Wisconsin, and I never stopped,” he said about the start of his swimming journey.

Daily motivations

Each day, he is motivated by the “lofty goals” that he sets for himself. “I am willing to put in the work for them,” he said.

He holds a Guinness World Record in ic swimming from the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA), which he tried back in January of this year. “It was a big deal. I wanted to try something different and new,” he said.

“It was a super cool experience, especially getting a World Record plaque with my name on it,” he added.

Jones listed the “backstroke” as his personal favorite stroke in swimming.

The digital age

On being a swimmer in the digital age, Jones said, “It doesn’t have a huge impact on what I am doing but I am definitely trying to get my presence out there a little bit more to connect with people and see how swimming can help me explore other regions and things.”

Advice for young and aspiring swimmers

For young and aspiring swimmers, he said, “Swimming is not an easy sport, it’s tough. You need to stick with it and love it, otherwise, you are not going to see much success if you don’t love what you are doing. Swimming is tough, it weeds out a lot of people.”

Future plans

Regarding his future plans, Jones said, “I am excited for my four years here at Cal. I want to try and contribute to the team in the best way that I can and prove to them why they invested so much time and energy into me in getting me here.”

“I am trying to make some Worlds and Olympics teams. That’s the goal when you are a kid,” he admitted.

Stage of his life

On the title of the current chapter of his life, Jones said, “New Beginnings.” “I am excited because everything is changing but I think it will be a good year,” he foreshadowed.

“Hopefully, this is only the beginning, and I am only going up from here. It has been a good ride so far,” he added.

Ryan Murphy

He had great words about fellow swimmer Ryan Murphy, whom he recently bested at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo. “I love Ryan Murphy, he’s amazing. I definitely want to pick his brain a little bit because he has had so much experience at the international stage level and in backstroke in general. I want to suck up all that knowledge,” he said.


On his definition of the word success, Jones said, “Doing swimming for as long as I possibly can. I love swimming, so it always stems from that. Swimming has always been a part of my life, and it will always be a part of my life. Obviously, I have big dreams and goals such as Worlds and the Olympics someday. That will always be a part of my success.”

Rapid Fire Questions

Jones also took some time to answer some rapid fire questions.

Waffles or pancakes? Pancakes
Flying or driving? Flying
City living or country living? Country living
Summer or winter? Winter
Library or museum? Library
Bath or shower? Bath
Pepsi or Coke? I’m not a soda guy, but I would go with Coke
Texting or calling? Calling
Half-full or half-empty? Half-empty
Curly fries or normal fries? Curly l fries
Skydiving or scuba diving? Skydiving
Indoor pool or outdoor pool? Outdoor pool all day
Tea or coffee? Tea
Rain or snow? Snow
Singing or dancing? Singing
Burgers or tacos? Burgers
Long course or short course? Long course
Money or fame? Fame

To learn more about American swimmer Keaton Jones, follow him on Instagram.