Swimmer Silverman voted April’s IPC Athlete of the Month

Paralympian wins after putting on a show at Spring CanAms. 15 May 2013
A picture of a man swimming

USA's Ian Silverman previously won the 400m freestyle S10 final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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“I don't think I am anywhere near my peak.”

After qualifying for August’s International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada by breaking two world records, American swimmer Ian Silverman has been voted IPC Athlete of the Month for April.

The 17-year-old received 38 per cent of the public’s vote via www.paralympic.org, narrowly beating Russia’s Ice Sledge Hockey player Mikhail Ivanov with 35 per cent.

At April’s Spring CanAms, Silverman secured his place on the USA team going to Montreal with record times in the men’s 800m and 1,500m freestyle S10 events, building on his gold-medal success in the 400m freestyle S10 at London 2012.

Heading into the World Championships Silverman has changed his mind set following London.

“My routine before a race has definitely changed and for the better. I was not used to some of the protocol that I had to follow in London before I swam,” explained Silverman.

“It took me out of my comfort zone which was good because it made me learn how to adapt to any situation that could occur before I swam. Also, having swum in front of 18,000 people, I don't get as nervous getting on the blocks in front of much smaller crowds.”

In Montreal, Silverman may not have it all it all his own way. He will be up against local-boy and four-time Paralympian Benoit Huot, a winner of 19 Paralympic and 28 World Championship medals, who at London 2012 finished ahead of Silverman in two of their three races.

Silverman said “I definitely think him competing in front of his home crowd will give him a great advantage.

“However, I still believe I can beat him and anyone else in the 400m freestyle. The biggest challenge will be competing against him in other events like the 200m individual medley. He is a great racer, a great friend, and I have all the respect in the world for him.”

With age very much on his side, Silverman thinks he still has a lot left in the tank. Looking towards Rio 2016, he believes he can add more medals to his tally.

Silverman said: “I have achieved a lot at a young age but I still have lots to improve on and lots to learn. I plan on competing at a high level for a long time. In Rio, I plan on defending my 400m title and adding a couple more medals, hopefully gold.

“I don't think I am anywhere near my peak.”

Ice Sledge Hockey player Greg Westlake of Canada, American wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden and Swede shooter Martin Halls were also shortlisted for the IPC’s Athlete of the Month competition.

The IPC Swimming World Championships will take place in Montreal from 12-19 August, 2013. Around 650 of the world’s best swimmers from 60 countries are expected to compete.

For more information about the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships, please visit www.ipcswimmingworlds2013.org