Paralympic Games Spotlight: Para-Swimming
The Paralympic Games has officially kicked off this week in Tokyo so we wanted to highlight some of the great sports that we will see over the course of the games and how they differ!
Today we want to talk about professional Para-Swimming. While there is no major difference in how the actual sport goes ahead, there are different classifications for the competition.
Para-Swimming was one of the eight original sports that featured at the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960 and has since grown to become one of the largest and most popular sports on the Para-sport calendar! With only 15 countries and 77 participants competing in Swimming at the Paralympic Games in 1960, the sport has seen massive growth and the most recent Paralympic Games in Tokyo will have 620 participants!
Athletes are classified on the basis of their ability to perform each of the swimming strokes (freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley). Para swimming caters for three impairment groups: physical, intellectual and vision. Athletes are assigned a category in which they can compete against other swimmers with the same ability. How cool is that?
In addition to the classifications, Para-Swimming rules are also altered to add starting platforms and in-water starts for athletes that choose to do so or need them. For the visually imaired athletes tappers/signals are introduced.
Some of the top players you’ll get to see participating this year are Daniel Dias (Brazil) who has a chance to become the MOST decorated Paralympics male swimmer this year, Jessica Long (USA) and Sophie Pascoe (New Zealand).
So, what are you waiting for? Check out the Para-Swimming schedule of when to watch here and enjoy!
Loving the Paralympic blogs? Check out our the other blogs here and best of luck to these amazing athletes from everyone at Banjo HQ!