14964-Francesco Bocciardo photo

Francesco Bocciardo



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
S5, SB4, SM5

Further personal information

Genoa, ITA
English, Italian
Higher education
Political Science - University of Genoa: Italy

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age three in Genoa, Italy.
Why this sport?
He took up the sport as a form of therapy. "I wanted to increase my physical ability. When I was very young, I didn't like swimming. I was thrown into the water by my parents at age four, because they had talked to my physiotherapist who had said to send me to swim, as it would be the ideal environment for a person with my impairment."
Club / Team
Nuotatori Genovesi [ITA] / Fiamme Oro [ITA]:
Name of coach
Luca Puce, ITA, from 2014

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Listening to music, watching TV, movies. (Instagram profile, 15 Feb 2020; Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the S6 400m freestyle at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Most influential person in career
Italian swimmer Francesco Bettella. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
Hero / Idol
Italian swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri and Italian Para swimmer Vincenzo Boni. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019)
He injured his left shoulder ahead of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He was still able to compete at the Games. (, 14 Mar 2018)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He listens to rock music before competing. (, 21 Jun 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Passion, in my opinion, is the stimulus that drives us to grind out the kilometres in the early mornings, not even knowing for what reason. But passion alone is not enough. It takes dedication, perseverance, and above all sacrifice. I also believe consistency is fundamental. If I had not been consistent, I would never have been able to achieve my goals. I have met many very talented guys who did not have the mentality and who have not been able to withstand the stress that constant training requires." (, 13 Dec 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2019 he received a Golden Collar for outstanding results and ethics in sport, presented by the Italian National Olympic Committee and the Italian Paralympic Committee. (Instagram profile, 25 Dec 2019)

In 2019 he received the Talent of the Municipality of Genoa award. (Instagram profile, 25 Sep 2019)

He received the Best Sportsman award at the 2017 Stars in Sports Awards in Liguria, Italy. (, 21 Jun 2017)

He was named the 2015 Sportsman of the Year by the Liguria Sports Council. (, 16 Dec 2015)
To win three gold medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 07 Dec 2020)
He has spastic distal tetraplegia, which affects the movement in his legs. (Athlete, 09 Sep 2019;, 08 Mar 2018;, 2012)
Other information
He has described himself as a workaholic, and is looking forward to applying the dedication he has cultivated in sport to other areas of life once his swimming career is over. "Many people think that a swimmer is just a swimmer, as if we could not be anything else. It's not like that. I'm a swimmer but I'm also a worker, a boyfriend, a son, a dreamer, a friend, perhaps one day also a father and many other things. Swimming has certainly been and will always be a fundamental and very important part of my life, but I also know that one day I will hang my swimsuit up and continue on with life. I would define myself as a workaholic who tries to do everything, and unfortunately often I only have time to do half of it." (, 13 Dec 2019)

In 2019 he said his life had been a journey of self-acceptance since age three. "I have overcome many difficulties, first of all that of accepting my impairment. I think I realised I was different from other children when I was three and saw my image reflected in the glass while I was walking. All the other difficulties in life were nothing compared to that. It was not easy. Adolescence was complicated, often I was seen, and am still seen, as an alien. In my opinion, if there are the right institutions and structures, a disability should not affect a person in a negative way. It is up to us to decide whether disability ought to be a disabling force. Assuming that there are no structural barriers in place, a person must seek within himself the motivation to say, 'I can lead a happy life even with a disability'." (, 27 Feb 2017;, 13 Dec 2019)


Unit Date Rank
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m Backstroke S7 Heat 1 2012-08-30 7
Men's 100 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2012-09-03 8
Men's 400 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2012-09-06 6
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 400 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2015-07-13 1
Men's 400 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2015-07-13 4
Men's 100 m Backstroke S6 Final 1 2015-07-18 7
Men's 100 m Backstroke S6 Heat 1 2015-07-18 5
Men's 100 m Freestyle S6 Heat 1 2015-07-19 3
Men's 100 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2015-07-19 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 50 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2016-09-10 5
Men's 400 m Freestyle S6 Final Round 2016-09-13 1
Men's 400 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2016-09-13 1
Men's 100 m Freestyle S6 Final Round 2016-09-17 8
Men's 100 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2016-09-17 3
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2017-12-02 2
Men's 400 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2017-12-02 3
Men's 400 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2017-12-02 2
Men's 100 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2017-12-04 2
Men's 100 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2017-12-04 4
Men's 50 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2017-12-07 7
Men's 50 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2017-12-07 6