Tag: Rudy Garcia-Tolson
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.
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.
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!