Sports of the Parapan American Games: Para swimming

Swimming is one of the longest-standing sports for athletes with a disability and has been part of the Paralympic Games since their inception in 1960 and the Parapan American Games in 1999. 

Athletes can have a physical, vision or intellectual impairment. Rules are modified to include optional starting platforms, in-water starts for some athletes or the use of signals or “tappers” to know where the end of the lane is (for turning and for the end of the race) for those athletes with vision impairments. No prostheses or assistive devices are permitted in the pool. 

Swimming races incorporate the techniques of breaststroke, butterfly, backstroke and freestyle, and are contested at distances of 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m.

Swimming is a timed competition; the first athlete or team (relay) to touch the timing pad at the end of the last lap wins.