Bolles graduate and current University of Southern California student Santo Condorelli will swim for a gold medal tonight in the men's 100m freestyle race at 10:03 pm.
Condorelli, who swims for team Canada, swam on Tuesday to qualify for the final. Santo placed fifth among all times in the first heats with a time of 48.22 seconds. He bettered that time with a second place finish in heat number two with a time of 47.93 seconds.
Condorelli, 21, was born in Japan and grew up in Portland, Oregon but is representing his mother's home Canada.
Condorelli has become famous for his pre-race rituals. Before every race, Condorelli flips off his dad in the crowd. Santo's dad, Joseph Condorelli, says he began flipping off his son when he was 8 years old and frustrated that he couldn't swim with the older, bigger, and faster swimmers. It was a motivational tool. Soon, Santo reciprocated the gesture. “It became a good ritual for both of us,” Joseph said. “He got a lot of his aggravation out with just a really simple ‘Give it to the world’ rather than keep it internalized. It calms him down on the blocks for sure.”
In the first race to qualify for the semifinals, Condorelli swam against another Bolles School graduate, Joseph Schooling.
Schooling, who graduated from Bolles in 2014, currently swims for the University of Texas. He represents team Singapore in the Rio Olympics. Unfortunately for Schooling, he will not be joining his former teammate in the final, although the two qualified as number 1 and 2 in their heat for the semifinals.
Luckily, this will not be the last that we see of either swimmer.
Condorelli has two more events to qualify for after his race for gold on Wednesday: the men's 50m freestyle and the men's 100m butterfly. Schooling will also swim again to qualify for the men's 100m butterfly. Those races will be on Thursday.