“It is not easy to combine trainings and studies, but I managed to do it with a lot of dedication, a huge effort and helped from my professors who understood my situation.”
It was a successful year for Colombian swimmer Carlos Serrano as he sealed his country’s first Paralympic gold in 36 years at Rio 2016 and, weeks later, graduated from high school at the Colegio Centro Piloto Simon Bolivar in the city of Bucaramanga.
“It is not easy to combine trainings and studies, but I managed to do it with a lot of dedication, a huge effort and helped from my professors who understood my situation,” explained Serrano, who burst onto the international scene in 2013, winning multiple titles at the Youth Parapan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Next year, the 18-year-old will be hoping to defend his world title from Glasgow 2015 at the Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships, and also to start his university studies.
“I want to become a sports technician,” he said.
At Rio 2016, the five-time Parapan American champion claimed his maiden Paralympic title in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7 with a world record time of 1:12.50, and followed that up with a silver in the 100m freestyle S7 and a bronze in the 50m freestyle S7.
Swimmer Pedro Mejia had been Colombia’s last gold medallist at Arnhem 1980.