Pipo Carlomagno follows his father’s Paralympic legacy

The Argentinian swimmer will make his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016, 12 years after his father competed at his last, in Athens. 25 Jun 2016
Three people in a pool, smiling to the camera

Argentinian swimmer Pipo Carlomagno will compete at his first Paralympics this year.

ⒸFernando Carlomagno

Argentinian swimmer Pipo Carlomagno will compete at his first Paralympics this year, following in the footsteps of his father Fernando who participated in three Games between 1996 and 2004.

The 22-year-old, who won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal at last year’s Parapan American Games is hoping to qualify for a Paralympic final in Rio, something his father never achieved.

“My main goal is to reach the final in the 100m backstroke S8,” he said.

“I would also like to lower my personal best, but the truth is that qualifying for the Paralympics is already great enough and I feel very happy.

“Four years ago, I was dreaming about qualifying for the Paralympics. Now I want to win a medal.”

Fernando, who describes himself as “Pipo’s number one fan”, is hoping his son can enjoy even more success than him.

“I am so proud of him,” said Fernando.

“Maybe not in Rio, but I am sure Pipo will eventually qualify for a Paralympic final.”

Pipo took up swimming at four years old and has continued since then, inspired by his father’s achievements.

“My dad used to travel to compete at many international tournaments and shared some great stories with me. I was so amazed that I wanted to have that life too,” he said.

Whilst he was still an active swimmer, Fernando used to play with Pipo in the pool after training.

“It makes totally sense to me that he has decided to swim,” he said.

Despite having a close relationship with his father, Pipo prefers him not to get too involved with his swimming career.

“It is very important for me to have his support,” he said.

“But there was one time we were training together and he could not stop giving me advice, which was a bit overwhelming. But of course it was because he wants the best for me.”

Fernando made his Paralympic debut 20 years ago, in Atlanta, and has followed the evolution of the Paralympic Movement since then.

“When I first competed, the Paralympics were not the huge event they are today, but a much more amateur one,” he said.

“I am happy for Pipo, who can have these amazing experiences that will enrich his life a lot.”

But Fernando’s influence in Pipo’s life goes way beyond the pool.

“Both my dad and my mom have encouraged me to do what I liked, no matter my disability,” said Pipo, who has a cerebral palsy.

“Thanks to their constant support, I will compete at Rio 2016 and fulfil one of my biggest dreams.”


Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.