When Darian Townsend first came to the United States a decade ago, it was primarily to further his international swimming career.
Townsend still is an elite swimmer but when he became an American citizen at a naturalization ceremony Thursday in Phoenix, the reasons transcended his sport.
“I didn’t do this for athletics,” the three-time South African Olympian and 2004 gold medalist said. “I did this for myself as a person and for my future in this country. I did it because I’m proud to be an American. I believe I’m part of the American society, not just the swimming society.”