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.
Lauren Fleshman ran sub 15:00 for 5,000 meters (14:58:58) and was a favorite to make the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. Dealing with a foot injury that would lead to surgery, she took fifth in the trials and didn’t get to go to Beijing. Now she is a few weeks from the 2012 trials and this time it is an IT Band injury that has kept her running to a minimum. But her attitude is awesome and this interview is absolutely one of our all-time favorites.
Simon Whitfield won the Gold Medal back in 2000 in the first ever Olympic Triathlon and a Silver eight years later in Beijing. He is gearing up for one last Olympics and, at the age of 37, is looking forward to jumping into the longer distances after London. He went through his career and spent some time on the twitter battle that erupted recently between himself and Lance Armstrong.
Galen Rupp made the finals at 10,000 meters in his first Olympics in Beijing in 2008, and London is definitely in his sights for next summer. Earlier this year he ran his first half marathon in New York City and went 1:00:30, the third fastest half marathon for an American. In mid September he stepped it up a notch when he ran an amazing 26:48.00, the fastest ever 10,000 for a non-African.
In December of 2003, Andre Kajlich (pronounced Ky-Lick) was in the Czech Republic taking biochemistry classes. After a late night and early morning out with friends, he headed to the subway station for the trip home. The next thing he remembers was waking up in the hospital three weeks later and being told that he had somehow ended up on the subway tracks and had lost both legs above the knee. Add to that six broken ribs, a broken arm, collapsed lungs and a badly cut back, and the 24 year old was lucky just to be alive.
In October of 2010 he participated in his first triathlon as part of a relay team and swam 1.2 miles in the ocean before completing a ten mile run using a racing chair. Andre was hooked. He did an Olympic distance triathlon in the spring of 2011 and qualified for the New York City Triathlon, which is the national ParaTri Championships. In June he did his first 70.3 in Lubbock, Texas and qualified for Kona in his first attempt. In August he raced New York, took second, and qualified for Beijing a month later where he took home the silver medal at the World’s. Next up? The Ironman World Championship on October 8th.
Taylor Phinney, 21, is 6’4” and 180 pounds and on The BMC Racing Team. Taylor is the perfect lead out guy for the legendary sprinter -and his father – Davis. This rare double header interview kicks off with a chat with Taylor from the Tour of Austria and is followed up by a conversation with Davis, the man they called the Cash Register throughout his illustrious career.
Rudy Garcia-Tolson had both legs amputated above the knee when he was only five years old. At the age of six he discovered swimming and in 2004 he went 2:42 for the 200 IM, set the world record, and won the Gold Medal in the Paralympics. In Beijing in 2008 he won Gold again and in 2009 he became the first double above knee amputee to finish an Ironman Triathlon when he completed Ironman Arizona. So what does the 22 year old do for an encore? He’s training for the Paralympics in London for swimming, and at the Endeavor Games this past weekend he ran 5:22 for 1500 meters, 32 for 200 meters and 64 for 400 meters. Try that with no legs!