Name: Rudy Garcia-Tolson
Sport: Swimming
Event(s): 100-meter Breaststroke, 100-meter Butterfly, 200-meter Individual Medley
Classification: S8, SB7, SM7
Height: 6-1
DOB: 9/14/1988
Birthplace: Bloomington, Calif.
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
High School: Bloomington High School (Bloomington, Calif.) ‘06
College: Southwestern College
Team/Club: United States Resident Team
Coach(es): Nathan Manley
Paralympic Experience
  • Five-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020); Five-time Paralympic medalist (2 golds, 2 silvers, 1 bronze)
  • Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, 7th (200-meter individual medley), 6th (100-meter breaststroke)
  • Paralympic Games Rio 2016, silver (200-meter individual medley), 6th (100-meter breaststroke, 34 pts. 4x100-meter freestyle relay, 34 pts. 4x100-meter medley relay)
  • Paralympic Games London 2012, silver (200-meter individual medley), 6th (34 pt. 4x100-meter medley); Track and Field, 9th (200-meter T42)
  • Paralympic Games Beijing 2008, gold (200-meter individual medley), bronze (100-meter breaststroke), 7th (34 pt. 4x100-meter medley), 9th (400-meter freestyle), 12th (100-meter butterfly), 13th (100-meter backstroke)
  • Paralympic Games Athens 2004, gold (200-meter individual medley), 5th (100-meter breaststroke), 7th (34 pt. 4x100-meter medley), 9th (100-meter butterfly)
World Championship Experience
  • Most recent: 2015 – 4th (200-meter individual medley), 6th (100-meter breaststroke, 34 pt. 100-meter medley), 7th (34 pt. 4x100-meter freestyle)
  • Years of Participation: 2002, 2006, 2009, 2021, 2013 (track and field), 2015
  • Medals: 6 (2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze)
  • Gold – (200-meter individual medley); 2010 (200-meter individual medley)
  • Silver – 2013 (long jump)
  • Bronze – 2009 (200-meter individual medley, 20 pt. 4x50-meter freestyle); 2010 (100-meter breaststroke)
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 Syndrome, 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 is Rudy