Water Polo Player From Miami On Verge of Olympic History

By Adam Kuperstein

Ashleigh Johnson stands out in the pool because of her athletic talent, but also her background.

Johnson is the only black player on the U.S. Women’s National Water Polo team. She’s also the only player not from California.

“I didn’t even really wonder why there weren’t any more black people on the team,” Johnson said. “That’s just how it’s always been.”

Johnson grew up on a five-acre farm property in the Redland, surrounded by jackfruit, avocado and tamarind trees, raised by her Jamaican-born single mom, Donna Johnson.

“It is mentioned a lot,” Donna Johnson said about her daughter’s ethnicity. “A lot of people ask her about it, so she is very conscious of it, but i don’t think it affects the way she sees herself.”

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Florida Swim Network