Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
‘Great experience’ for BYU’s Rafael Alfaro at Olympics, however quickly it passed

Olympics » Huge crowds overwhelm, distract Cougar swimmer.

First Published Jul 28 2012 06:04 am • Last Updated Jul 29 2012 12:19 am

London • While the rest of the country was groggily shaking off its late night and marveling still at the spectacular Opening Ceremony, swimmer Rafael Alfaro was …

Well, already finished.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The 20-year-old junior-to-be at Brigham Young University was among the first competitors at the London Olympics on Saturday, and also among the first to be done. His swim in the 400-meter individual medley at the Aquatics Center lasted less than five minutes ­— nowhere close to qualifying for the finals — but that was still long enough for him to marvel at the grandeur of the Olympic experience.

"I was just overwhelmed by the huge crowds and the huge roar when I walked in," he said, shaking his head just a little. "Amazing, really. But it was especially distracting. I didn’t swim well. … Didn’t really get my head in the race the way I should have."

"It was a great experience, though," he said.

Alfaro was the Cougars’ best swimmer in the 400 IM last season, and representing his native El Salvador. He hadn’t achieved the qualifying time necessary to assure his entry, but was invited by the international governing body for the sport as the best swimmer from his country — just like college teammate Andrew Rutherfurd, who will swim the 100 freestyle for Bolivia on Tuesday.

That meant Alfaro had the third-slowest time in the field entering the race, and his finish in 4 minutes, 35.80 seconds would have been the slowest of all 37 swimmers if not for Qatar’s Ahmed Atari, who chugged home to you-can-do-it cheers nearly a minute later.

"I’m just happy to be here, really," Alfaro said. "I train hard, practiced as much as I could."

Besides, he was able to march in the Opening Ceremony — a thrilling honor that his uncle, former Cougar and 1976 Olympian Piero Ferracuti, insisted he experience, even if it did mean not getting to bed until nearly 1 a.m., just nine hours before his race.

And however strange it might feel for Alfaro to be finished with his Olympics when they are really just getting started, he was grateful that his parents, brother and sister were able to attend. Now, they can enjoy some other events and the city of London without any anxiety or pressure before heading home Aug. 2.


story continues below
story continues below

"Just try to enjoy the rest of our time here," Alfaro said.

mcl@sltrib.com

Twitter: @MCLTribune



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.