4146-Efrem Morelli photo

Efrem Morelli



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
S4, SB3, SM4

Further personal information

Athlete, Businessperson

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para swimming in 2005.
Why this sport?
He began swimming regularly as part of his therapy following his motocross accident "Sport was my life, and at age 21 I could not just give up everything. I tried playing wheelchair basketball, but then I was advised by doctors to move in the water for therapeutic purposes. In the water I was better both physically and psychologically. I started swimming and winning some races. From that moment on I never stopped."
Club / Team
Canottieri Baldesio [ITA] / Fiamme Oro [ITA]:
Name of coach
Riccardo Vernole [national], Matteo Poli [national]

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Motocross. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two gold medals at the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, and a bronze medal in the SB3 50m breaststroke at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Most influential person in career
Coach Maurizio Bregoli. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Hero / Idol
Italian motocross rider Antonio Cairoli. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
He took a break from the sport after competing at the 2014 European Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, due to an ongoing neck injury. He requested a classification change as the severity of his impairment had increased. His classification was changed, and he returned to swimming at national level in 2015. (, 16 Mar 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"It is not what you have been, it is more important what you become." (Facebook page, 18 Aug 2018)
Awards and honours
In November 2019 he received a sporting achievement award at the Italian National Olympic Committee [CONI] Sports Awards event in Cremona, Italy. (, 27 Nov 2019)

In April 2017 he was named Athlete of the Month by the Italian Paralympic Swimming Federation [FINIP]. (, 10 Apr 2017)
Other sports
Prior to his accident he competed in motocross at international level. He also competed in Para rowing at the 2009 World Championships in Poznan, Poland. (, 09 Jul 2018;, 01 Jan 2018;, 18 Nov 2009;, 18 Nov 2009)
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 09 Jul 2018)
At age 20 he was involved in an accident during a motocross race, which resulted in paraplegia. (Athlete, 03 Dec 2017;, 20 Nov 2009)
Other information
His first passion in sport was motocross, which he took up at age 14. He participated in three European championships and won one national and three regional titles prior to his accident. "During a race I had a serious accident. It was the end of a dream cultivated for years, and the beginning of a hard period for me. Doctors recommended aqua therapy and I started going to the pool. I had to learn to swim again from scratch, but I started swimming quite well. I began to get passionate about it, and by pure chance I came in contact with the president of my club and I was asked to do some training with them. I found it to be a quiet and pleasant environment, but at the same time serious and professional - just the way I like it. For me, this was a new beginning, or perhaps the continuation of a dream interrupted a few years earlier." (Facebook page, 18 Aug 2018;, 31 Mar 2014;, 18 Jun 2013;, 18 Apr 2012;, 18 Nov 2009)

He has two tattoos of the Olympic rings, one on each shoulder blade, to commemorate competing at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. In 2019 he said he was one of the oldest members of the Italian Paralympic swimming team, and that team unity is the most important aspect he tries to cultivate in the group. "I am the oldest in the group, but it doesn't weigh on me at all. On the contrary, I feel fitter now than I did a few years ago. What is important for me is being part of a team that is truly united, and not just in words. It is necessary for things to go well, and is a fundamental basis for success. If there is no team unity, inevitably there will be problems. [National] coach Riccardo Vernole knows this well and has always focused on unity in the group." (, 15 Sep 2019)


Unit Date Rank
IPC Swimming World Championships Durban 2006 (Durban, South Africa)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Butterfly S6 Heats 15
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB5 Final Round 7
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB5 Heats 7
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB5 Heat 1 4
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2012-08-30 7
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Heat 1 2012-09-04 3
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final Round 2012-09-04 6
Men's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heat 3 2012-09-07 3
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heat 2 2013-08-12 6
Men's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final 1 2013-08-12 5
Men's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final 1 2013-08-13 4
Men's 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Final 1 2013-08-14 5
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Heat 2 2013-08-15 5
Men's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Final 1 2013-08-15 4
Men's 4x50 m Medley 20pts Final 1 2013-08-16 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final Round 2016-09-12 5
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Heat 1 2016-09-12 2
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Final Round 2016-09-14 3
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Heat 2 2016-09-14 2
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Final Round 2016-09-16 8
Men's 50 m Backstroke S4 Heat 1 2016-09-16 4
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Breaststroke SB3 Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Mixed 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Final 1 2017-12-07 2
Men's 150 m Individual Medley SM4 Final 1 2017-12-07 1