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Get To Know: Alec Heuermann

Jul 02, 2019 03:04PM

To outside eyes, Rocklin resident Alec Heuermann might seem like your average 21-year-old college student. He studies mechatronics at Sierra College and lives with his parents and three siblings. Yet he’s also an accomplished athlete—most recently winning two silver medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, and the only swimmer from California to participate. 

When he was a child, his parents had no idea Alec would find his niche as a swimmer. After he was diagnosed with autism at two years old, their family moved to Rocklin from the Bay Area—a place where their son could have the resources and support structures he needed to thrive. “At first, I just wanted him to be safe around water,” his mother, Candace, says, recalling her son’s first swimming lessons. “But as he got older, we realized it was something he [excelled at].” 

Swimming gave Alec an outlet for his intense competitive drive. With each swim, he pushes himself to beat his previous times. “I tell myself that I’m going to make it, like I always do, [and am] not going to stop,” he shares. These days, he practices year-round with the Rocklin Swim Team, a nonprofit that offers swim training for all ages and abilities. He’s also working hard toward his goal of making it into the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin—and this time, he aims to win gold. “Never underestimate him,” Candace says with a laugh. “People have made predictions about him, and he’s blown every single one out of the water.” 

By Amber Foster


What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Do what you think is best.

What comes to you naturally?

Being brave. 

What’s your biggest pet peeve? 

When people are overly bossy.

Biggest life inspirations? 

Athletes who work hard and get big results.

What are you most proud of? 

My swimming awards.

Best words of wisdom you’ve received?

Treat other people how you want to be treated.


Rick Riordan


Movies, music, and video games 

Guilty pleasure
Ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery


Sushi from Ninja Sushi & Teriyaki

Star Wars 

The Beatles


“Be kind!”
—Ellen Degeneres

Photos by Dante Fontana.