Florida Southern College swimmer Allan Gutierrez went to the Olympics of London 2012 representing Honduras.
He competed in the 400-meter freestyle. To reach that level of competition he had to train his entire life.
“There was confusion with the amount of meters that I had to swim. I was preparing myself for the 100-meter freestyle but later they told me I could only swim the amount of meters of free style from the Swimming World Championship, which was the 400-meter freestyle,” Gutierrez said.
The swimmer only had a month to prepare himself after the news that the amount of meters in free style changed. He trained in the morning from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. swimming in the pool. After that from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. he was in the gym. Finally, he spent a few hours swimming again from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. He did this Monday to Saturday taking only Sundays to rest.
“When I first got to the stadium I was scared, I was looking at the big screen on top of me and there I was walking, everyone was looking at me,” Gutierrez said.
The support that the athlete received from his country was not the best, because swimming it is not the main sport in Honduras. The organization from his country did pay most of the things but details such as bathing suits, backpacks and other supplies were covered by his own funds Gutierrez added.
All of the opponents were highly prepared for the competition and felt equally pressured.
“Being in the Olympics was a marvelous experience, it was a dream come true. I also felt pressure because an entire country and the 15 thousand people in the stadium were watching me,” Gutierrez said.
For people who dedicate great time of their life to a sport sometimes they feel discouraged like it happened to the swimmer. He mentioned that when he felt like that, what kept him going on was knowing that he could reach what only a few could.
For him it has been hard to maintain a balance between sports and academics. He is planning on entering a medical school and carry on with swimming but if he would have to choose between one of those he would choose academics as a priority.
He also shared some motivational words for the people that lack it.
“In every country there is talent it is just they do not know how to develop those skills in an efficient way. Everyone has to go out and search for their dream and work for it in order to achieve it,” Gutierrez said.