They are two of the best athletes on the planet. One is a sprinter on the track with personal bests of 10.91 for 100 meters, 21.7 for 200 meters, and 49.3 for 400 meters. In London in 2012, he took a bronze at 200 meters and a silver at 400 meters. The other is a swimmer who specializes in the 200 Individual Medley and the breaststroke, and he has two Gold Medals for the 200 IM, one from Athens and one from Beijing, plus a silver from London. But Blake Leeper and Rudy Garcia-Tolson are much more than just great athletes. They are both missing both legs – Blake below the knee and Rudy above the knee – and they are changing perceptions about what someone with a disability can accomplish. Having them in studio together was really special.
Deena Kastor has a bronze medal from the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, a 2:19:36 American Record for the distance, marathon wins in both Chicago and London, and a love of the sport that began when she was 11 years old and running the trails of the Santa Monica Mountains. On March 17th America’s most decorated female runner will be running a marathon for the first time ever in Southern California when she toes the line at Dodger Stadium for the LA Marathon.
Rudy Garcia-Tolson has already won two Paralympic Gold Medals for the 200 IM, one in Athens and one in Beijing. Two weeks ago he qualified to go to London to try and get Gold Medal number three in the pool….and on July 30th he also earned a spot on the Paralympic Track Team. Garcia Tolson became one of the few Paralympians in history to qualify in two sports when he won the 200 on the track in Indianapolis.
Rasmus Henning from Denmark has done it all in the sport of triathlon. A two-time Olympian in Athens and Beijing, he won the Hy-Vee race two years in a row when the purse was $200,000 to the winner, took fifth in Kona in his first attempt back in 2009 with a broken hand and in March of 2012 dominated in Abu Dhabi. We chatted about his ebook – www.prochasingthedream.com – his plans for Kona, and the balance it takes to be a husband, father, and a professional athlete.
Deena Kastor holds the American record for the marathon and half marathon and took home the bronze medal from the 2004 Olympic Marathon in Athens. Deena chatted about being a mom, taking sixth at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, her Bronze Medal run in the oppressive heat of Athens, and the challenges she faces as she attempts to make another Olympic team, this time at 10,000 meters. “Cutting my running mileage way back has been great,” she said in our interview, “but dealing with the ‘bootie locking burn’ that comes along with all of that track work has been a challenge.” Bootie Locking Burn? LOVE that!