Rutherfurd, a 2007 graduate of Chattahoochee High School that swims collegiately at Brigham Young University, holds dual-citizenship in the United States and Bolivia. After competing admirably for the South American nation at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, he was selected last month by Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) to compete as a member of the Bolivian National Team in London.
“I had a pretty good idea that I would be selected based on my times, but it was definitely a relief when I finally got the news,” said Rutherfurd, who qualified courtesy of his 100-Meter freestyle time (53.57 seconds).
“It’s definitely exciting to have that Olympic dream come true.”
A native of Alpharetta, Rutherfurd’s Olympic dream started when he began swimming competitively at the age of 7 with Dynamo swim club in Alpharetta. Two years later he moved to his mother’s home country of Bolivia where he was quickly recognized as one of the country’s best young swimming prodigies. He gained citizenship before returning to Alpharetta at the age of 16.
Along with his Olympic qualification, Rutherfurd is already one of the most decorated swimmers in Bolivian history.
While representing Bolivia at the South American Championships in Belém Brazil in March, Rutherfurd set national records in the 100 Free (52.92), 200 Free (1:57.87), 50 Butterfly (25.86), 200 IM (2:11.22), and with a pair of relay teams. He also holds national times in the 400 IM (4:44.54) and 200 Breast (2:27.29) which were set in 2007 with Dynamo before heading off to college.
Rutherfurd said his Olympic preparations will continue over the next month with his college coaches through mid July — where he estimates swimming 10,000 yards per day. He will then return to Georgia for a week to train with his Dynamo coaches before flying to London on the 20th.
The 2012 Olympic Games will commence July 27 and continue through mid-August. Rutherfurd’s event, the 100 free, will take place Aug. 1.
“The 100 free is one of the most competitive events in the world and known as the signature speed event. It’s hard to put a goal out there but I’m just going to post the best time I can and represent myself and my country as best I can.”