Para swimming features athletes with physical, visual and intellectual impairments. Events are the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley and relays. A FINA (the international governing body for swimming) standard eight-lane 50-metre pool is required for competition at the Paralympic Games. Events are conducted in heats of eight competitors per class. The fastest eight swimmers per class compete in the finals.
Depending on their disability, swimmers can start in the water, from a dive start sitting on the starting platform, or from the typical standing start. Blind and visually impaired swimmers are required to wear blackened goggles and have an assistant (called a “tapper”) to help (tap) them as they approach the pool end wall to make turns or finish the race.
The governing body is the IPC (www.ipc-swimming.org).and the sport is also co-ordinated by the IPC Swimming Technical Committee, which uses FINA rules. Swimming Canada is the National Sport Federation (swimming.ca).
Canada has enjoyed enormous international success in Para swimming. Michael Edgson and Tim McIsaac both won 21 Paralympic medals in their careers while now-retired Stephanie Dixon has 19. In Rios 2016 Cananadian Para swimmers brought home 8 medals, including Benoit Huot's 20th Paralympic medal.
For a full list of historical results, visit the International Paralympic Committee website.