Rudy Garcia-Tolson


Name: Rudy Garcia-Tolson
Sport: Swimming
Event(s): 100m Breaststroke, 100m Butterfly, 200m IM
Classification: S8, SB7, SM7
Height: 6-1
Weight: 140
DOB: 9/14/1988
Birthplace: Bloomington, Calif.
Hometown: Bloomington, Calif.
High School: Bloomington High School (Bloomington, Calif.) ‘06
Team/Club: United States Resident Team
Coach(es): Nathan Manley
Paralympic Experience
  • Four-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016); Four-time medalist (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
  • London 2012 Paralympic Games, silver (200m IM), 6th (34 pt. 4x100m medley); Track and Field, 9th (200m T42)
  • Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, gold (200m IM), bronze (100m breast), 7th (34 pt. 4x100m medley), 9th (400m free), 12th (100m fly), 13th (100m back)
  • Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, gold (200m IM), 5th (100m breast), 7th (34 pt. 4x100m medley), 9th (100m fly)
  • Joins Jessica Long and Cody Bureau as the only members of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team to compete in four Paralympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)
World Championship Experience
  • Most recent: 2015 – 4th (200m IM), 6th (100m breast, 34 pt. 100m medley), 7th (34 pt. 4x100m free)
  • Years of Participation: 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013 (track and field), 2015
  • Medals: 6 (2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze)
  • Gold – 2006 (200m IM), 2010 (200m IM)
  • Silver – 2013 (long jump)
  • Bronze – 2009 (200m IM, 20 pt. 4x50m free), 2010 (100m breast)
Personal: Since his first Paralympic Games in 2004 at the age of 16, Garcia-Tolson has become an ambassador for Paralympic sport. Born with multiple birth defects, including Pterygium Syndrom, a club foot, webbed fingers and a cleft lip and palate, Garcia-Tolson endured 15 surgeries by the age of five before telling his parents he'd rather have a double leg amputation. By age 8, he had already become active in swimming, running and triathlons. At that age, he stated that he wanted to compete at the Paralympic Games and eight years later, he made good on his promise when he swam to gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Since then, Garcia-Tolson has added more Paralympic medals to his collection and accomplished more in his career, including becoming the world's first double above-knee amputee to complete an Ironman triathlon in 2009. He has been featured on numerous media publications and television shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and was named as one of People Magazine's “20 Teens Who Will Change the World.” Garcia-Tolson has won several awards, including the ESPN's ARETE Courage in Sports Award, Nike's Casey Martin Award and was nominated for an ESPY. He continues to make an impact in his community through his work with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and as a motivational speaker, sharing his message that “A brave heart is a powerful weapon.”...Son of Ricardo Garcia and Sandra Garcia-Tolson…Has one brother and three sisters…Likes hip-hop and skateboarding…Favorite para sport is wheelchair rugby…Favorite sports team is the Los Angeles Rams…Favorite place he has traveled to is Iceland…Favorite movie? Rudy.

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