Kudmani qualified for the championships for the 50- and 100-meter butterfly events with a time of 31.5 and 1:09, respectively, and the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 37.0.

George Kudmani
George Kudmani
Photo by Andrea Mujica
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Southwest Aquatics swimmer George Kudmani competed recently at the senior championships in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly events, as well as the 50-meter breaststroke. Kudmani qualified for the championships for the 50- and 100-meter butterfly events with a time of 31.5 and 1:09, respectively, and the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 37.0.

How do you feel about qualifying for the senior championships? 
When I first did it, I was ecstatic. I remember screaming, “Let’s go!” at the end of it. 

What are you most excited about competing at the senior championships? 
I am most excited about the environment. By swimming with all these fast swimmers, you get to see fast swimming and also do it too. 

Tell us about your years as a swimmer. 
I started at about age 3 with survival training and all that. Then, I first started on the swim team at age 6 in Louisville, Kentucky. I swam until age 11 until I finally moved down here. 

Have there been any challenges you’ve had to overcome? 
Back in 2020, I was at the top of my game, and then COVID-19 came and shut everything down. So it was about six months without swimming, and it was awful. And finally I got back after COVID-19. … Once I got back, I started getting back into the habit of swimming and stuff, and I was getting faster than my old times, faster than I ever was. And then another roadblock hit me. In October, 2020, I was diagnosed with COVID-19. It was a two-week quarantine, and then, when I got out and went back to swim again, I got really sick. It was the end of the two-week break, and I got back to swimming. … I never really got back into the shape I wanted to. Instead of getting better, I kept getting slower. I just kept getting sicker and eventually, I stepped on the scale and I had dropped like 10 pounds … and I kept dropping weight. By November 2020, I was down to 80 pounds. … The doctors couldn’t give us an answer, so we kept going back. … I felt really discouraged. I would feel so sick that I would miss weeks at a time. … By January 2021, we finally went to the doctor, and they performed a colonoscopy, (and) they finally found the answer: I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and celiac disease — and a shrimp allergy — all in the same day. 

How did you feel when they diagnosed you with Crohn’s and celiac disease? 
I was like, ‘Thank you so much. I can get better — finally.’ But then it hit me, I’m never going to eat … any gluten or fiber. So there was this whole thing about managing my diet that I had never thought about. And looking back now, up until I got sick, I was eating so badly. … But then I was like, ‘If I’m going to get better, I am sticking to the diet and doing what I need to do to feel good again.’ So, what I didn’t expect at the time … is that it took me about six months to even stop feeling pain, just because I was so in deep from eating poorly. … When I stepped on the scale, (months after being diagnosed) and I saw I was 10 pounds up from where I was, I was so happy. 

What is your earliest memory of swimming? 
When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my swim instructor would throw the toys in the bottom of the pool, and I would swim down and retrieve them.

What is your favorite hobby? 
I am really big into playing guitar. 

What are three things you would take with you to a deserted island? 
Probably matches, an axe and a book — the complete series of “Harry Potter.” 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? 
The ability to stop time, never be late. But not reverse it. I feel like that’s too much power. 

What are three places you’d like to visit? Why? 
Italy, because of the food — (Italians) are known for their gluten-free (food). … Hawaii, to go to the beach there and surf, and the United Kingdom — I’d like to see Scotland, the lochs and hills. 

If you could go back in time to a specific period of history, which one would it be and why? 
I’d like to see ancient Rome in all its glory; that’d be really cool.

What color would you say represents your personality? Why?
Blue, because I like it. 

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be and why? 
A bird, probably an eagle, because I’d love to fly around and see the world. 



Andrea Mujica

Staff writer Andrea Mujica covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida. When she’s not on the sidelines, you can find Andrea coaching rowers at the Orlando Area Rowing Society in Windermere.

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