Dive into the deep end. 5,162 miles. That’s how far West African country Burkina Faso is from Savannah, Georgia. And that’s exactly how far Thierry Sawadogo ’20 flew to pursue not one, but two, seriously impressive dreams: Swim in the Olympics. And graduate from Savannah State with his bachelor’s degree in computer science technology.
So far, he’s accomplished the first. He placed second in his 50-meter freestyle heat at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For him, the chance to represent his country on an international stage overwhelmed him with an impossible-to-explain feeling.
In Burkina Faso, swimmers are in short supply. (As Thierry says, the typical sport of choice back home is soccer.) He wouldn’t let that stop him. He’s been training since he was eight years old – freestyling, backstroking, and butterflying his way to becoming Burkina Faso’s number-one swimmer.