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Swimming is new to Alvaro A. Gutierrez, Jr.

“I never thought I'd ever be doing this,” Gutierrez said.

He has only been swimming for a year. He’ll be competing for the first time in this summer’s OutGames. Gutierrez was born in Miami, raised in Colombia and now calls Fort Lauderdale home.

The manager of a Barnes & Noble, Gutierrez discovered swimming as a means of coping with divorce.

“This is like therapy for me,” he said. “I needed a hobby to motivate me to stay active.”

Divorce is tough, Gutierrez said, but it is not the end of the world.

“I want people to know that it doesn’t mean everything falls apart,” Gutierrez said. “You can pick up new things and start to live again.”

Locally, Gutierrez swims with the Hammerheads. He added that freestyle is his strongest swim stroke and that he is training for the 50-meter backstroke.

According to Gutierrez, OutGames swimmers are set to dive from May 27-29 at Ransom Everglades School.