Paralympic Swimming

Previous image

Paralympic Swimming

Next image
Paralympic Swimming
Paralympic Swimming
Paralympic Swimming
Paralympic Swimming
Paralympic Swimming
Paralympic Swimming

© London 2012

600 Paralympic swimming stars will take to the pool at the Aquatics Centre in a bid for victory this summer, in the second biggest competition of the Paralympic Games. 

Filter by category:

What is Paralympic Swimming?


Arguably the most popular of Paralympic sports, Paralympic Swimming features 600 athletes competing in a massive 148 medal events, with swimmers classified according to the varying levels of physical, visual and intellectual impairments. Like in regular Olympics Swimming, all four strokes feature, as well as Individual Medley and Medley Relay events. A standard 50m Olympic swimming pool is used, although races may be started in a number of ways: from a standing start, a dive start from a sitting position on the starting platform, or from within the water. For swimmers with visual impairments a 'tapper' may be used to indicate in advance the end of the pool. One of the big stars of Paralympic Swimming is the 27-year-old South African Natalie du Toit, who won five gold medals in both the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Sydney Games.


Who won gold in Paralympic Swimming in Beijing in 2008?


The United States came out on top of the gold medal table with 17 – nearest challengers China and Ukraine both had 13. China won the most medals in total with 22 silvers and 17 bronzes in addition to their gold medal haul. Great Britain won 11 golds and 41 medals in total, placing them 4th on the table. British swimming hope Eleanor Simmonds, just 13 at the time, brought home two golds from the S6 class 100m and 400m freestyle.


Do ParalympicsGB have a chance of winning any Swimming medals?


Great Britain's swimmers typically excel in the pool – in Beijing they won 41 medals and set a host of world records. The star of the squad is Ellie Simmonds MBE, who produced an outstanding two gold medals four years ago aged just 13, becoming Great Britain's youngest-ever individual Paralympic gold medallist. Now 16, the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year will be hoping to repeat that success with entries in the 400m Freestyle (S6), 200m Individual Medley (SM6), 50m Freestyle (S6) and 100m Freestyle (S6) races. The British squad is full of medal potential: from stalwarts such as Matt Walker, Sascha Kindred, Nyree Lewis, Graham Edmunds and Jim Anderson to new prospects such as Natalie Jones, Charlottle Henshaw, Sam Hynd, Matt Whorwood and Louise Watkin.


Where will the Paralympic Swimming take place?


The London 2012 Paralympics Swimming programme takes place at the state-of-the-art Aquatics Centre in the entrance of the Olympic Park. The wave-shaped building was designed by respected architect Zaha Hadid and is possibly the most complicated and intricate sporting venue in the Games.  After the Olympic and Paralympic Games have finished the venue will be used to encourage new generations of swimmers as it opens its doors to the community. The Olympic Park in East London has plenty of hotels nearby providing easy access to the sporting events and for a closer look at where all the Paralympic venues are located check out our handy map of London Paralympics Venues.


When is the Paralympic Swimming?


The Paralympic Swimming runs daily from Thursday 30th August to Saturday 8th September, with medal events taking place every day. See our Paralympics Day-by-Day Guide for the full schedule of events.


What are the disability divisions for Paralympic swimming?


There are 13 different classes for swimmers at the Paralympic Games. Swimmers with physical impairments are classified from S1 to S10. These are known as ‘functional’ classifications because classification is based on how an athlete moves in the water. Amongst the S1-10 categories, athletes with the lower classification numbers have the more severe impairments. Swimmers who have visual impairments are classified from S11 to S13. Swimmers who are blind have an assistant called a ‘ tapper’ who may use a pole to tap the swimmer to warn them they are approaching the end of a length. A new class for London 2012 is the S14 for athletes with a learning disability. An athlete’s classification may change for different swimming strokes, because the nature of their impairment may affect their ability to perform a particular stroke.


How do I get tickets for Paralympic Swimming?


Tickets can be purchased from More than 2.1 million of the 2.5 million available tickets have already been sold - organisers are claiming this could be the first Paralympics to sell out in the 52 year history of the Games. Twitter users could start following @2012TicketAlert, an unofficial feed set up during the Olympics which runs a check on the official site every three minutes and tweets every time a ticket becomes available.


When did Swimming first make an appearance at the Paralympics?


Swimming made its Paralympic debut in Rome in 1960 and has since become one of the biggest sports in the Paralympic Games because of the many different events and classifications included. During the Sydney Games in 2000, over 200,000 turned out to watch all nine days of events.





SALE London Hotels

From cheap budget hotels to luxury 5 star hotels see our deals for hotels, including from 0% off.

Call now: hotel deals 0207 420 4960