Rafael Alfaro

Swimming | El Salvador

Home: Huntington Beach CA

Olympics: London 2012

Favorite Athletic Achievement: Representing my country of El Salvador in multiple international events including the 2012 London Olympic Games, 2015 Toronto Pan-American Games, multiple world championships, and other international events. Winning medals in Central Alerican and Caribbean Games. Swimming collegiately in an NCAA Division I program and receiving an athletic scholarship.

Personal Achievement: Earning a degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University.

Why I am Inspired to be a RISE Mentor: Looking back to my career and development as an athlete makes me realize the amount of value I could have gained from having someone giving me perspective and mentoring me. I want to give back to the community of up and coming younger athletes in that area.

What would I tell my 13-year-old self: You have the world ahead of you, keep working as hard as you are, put yourself next to people that are going to keep challenging you to grow, never conform, and don’t worry because your dreams will come true.

Favorite way to focus: Visualization

Best way to rest/recover: Surfing for active recovery and massages

Fun Fact: I was born and raised in El Salvador but also have Italian citizenship

What I do now: Work for Chase Bank

My Favorite Mentoring Moment: As a senior in college I had a fellow freshman teammate who was struggling to adjust to life as a student athlete in a big university. He felt homesick, did not feel like he fit in, and was having some family issues. I offered him support by sharing similar experiences I had had previously and helped him by keeping him busy enough to sort of think less of what was going on in his life. Whenever he began feeling down again, I made sure to be there for him. Eventually he learned how to cope with his struggle and dig himself out of the hole that he was in. I felt proud of him for finding his own way out.