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Paralympic Swimming

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Paralympic Swimming is a Paralympic event that involves all four traditional strokes and no direct assistive technology. There are however, optional platform or in-water starts for some races and the use of signals or "tappers" for people who are blind or visually impaired.[1]



Swimmers are classified based on muscle strength, movement co-ordination, joint range of movement and/or limb length and then tested in all four strokes to determine ability. Higher class numbers indicate lower disability.

  • 10 classes (S1-S10) in Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly
  • 10 classes (SM1-SM10) for Individual Medley, and
  • 9 classes (SB1-SB9) in Breaststroke.


  • 50m, 100m and 400m Freestyle
  • 100m Backstroke
  • 100m Breaststroke
  • 100m Butterfly
  • 200m Individual Medley
  • 4x100m Freestyle Relay and 4x100m Medley Relay.

Paralympic Swimmers by Country


  1. "Swimming." International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Accessed on May 28, 2008.