Olympic medals elude suburban paralympians

Posted9/1/2012 6:07 PM

Two suburban athletes -- Arlington Heights cyclist David Swanson and Naperville swimmer Alyssa Gialamas -- fell short of Olympic gold Saturday during London's Paralympic Games.

After earning several medals and breaking records in last year's Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, the 17-year-old Gialamas finished fifth out of eight swimmers in the women's 200-meter freestyle and nearly 26 seconds behind gold medal winner Sarah Louise Rung of Norway.


The Waubonsie Valley High School junior will swim in one more event, the 100-meter freestyle, on Sept. 8.

Swanson, 35, was the able-bodied member of a tandem bike team that includes Clark Rachfal, who is 90 percent blind.

Swanson and Rachfal finished seventh out of 12 teams in the 1-kilometer time trial on Saturday. The winners, Neil Fachie and Barney Storey, set a new World Record and Paralympic Record with a time 1.01.351 seconds, according to the Official Paralympics website.

On Friday, Joseph Berenyi, won gold in cycling. The Aurora native and current Oswego resident took first in the 3-kilometer individual pursuit.

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