Rudy Garcia-Tolson, David Duchovny and a Return to the Paralympics

Rudy Garcia-Tolson Photo Courtesy: Kevin McCarthy

When March hit and the worst of the COVID-19 lockdowns took effect, Rudy Garcia-Tolson sought something to fill the time.

A four-time Paralympian who’d won five medals – four in swimming and one in track & field, and been a Team USA captain in 2016got the urge to get back in the water to train for the Tokyo Paralympics after more than three years of retirement.

He thought his journey would take him to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. But with that closed, and pools in New York, where he’d moved after his retirement, also shuttered, Garcia-Tolson had to think outside of the box. So he hit the road, driving from New York to his native California. And the solution he eventually found was … at the backyard pool of actor David Duchovny.

After swimming in the ocean, detailed in a series of training dispatches the 31-year-old has written for the New York Times, Garcia-Tolson got an unlikely assist from Duchovny, who read the article and offered use of his one-lane, 25-meter backyard pool.

Garcia-Tolson had actually met star of “The X-Files” as a kid at a Challenged Athletes Foundation triathlon in Malibu, where Duchovny lives. Garcia-Tolson has had free reign of the pool, able to work out for 90 minutes to two hours, sets that comprise up to 6,000 meters.

He admits it’s still a little bit of a surreal setting. From his latest piece:

So far I’ve gone about 12 times. I text him, tell him when I am going to be there. I park in his driveway, next to the garage. I go right to the pool.

The first few times we talked some. Now it’s less and less. I uncover the pool, get my equipment out, and within five minutes I jump in. I do my 90-minute, or maybe a two-hour workout and I am done. It’s pretty nice.

Read Rudy Garcia-Tolson’s latest story, with links to his previous work, here.

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