Toronto 2015 preview: Swimming

After winning 11 gold medals four years ago, Brazil's Daniel Dias is targeting 12 this time round. 05 Aug 2015
Daniel Dias Parapan Record

Daniel Dias claimed 11 golds in 11 races at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.


Competition dates: 8-14 August


Venue: CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre


Athletes: 220


Medal events: 116


Tickets: Adults from CAD 25-25 / U16 & 64+ CAD 17.50


Buy swimming tickets at Ticketmaster here.



Brazil topped the medals table at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan Am Games with 85 medals including 33 golds. Mexico finished second with 20 golds and the USA third with eight.


Three swimmers to look out for

Daniel Dias (Brazil)

Dias left Guadalajara 2011 with an incredible 11 gold medals from 11 events, propelling him further into the history books and into the conscience of his country, and makes him one of the most hotly anticipated contenders for Toronto 2015.

Dias recently showed he is still the man to beat in men’s S5, taking his world title collection to 24 with seven golds from July’s 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.

Carlos Serrano Zarate (Colombia)

At just 16-years-old Zarate collected his first world title at the 2015 Worlds in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB7.

When he gets into the pool at Toronto, he will be fulfilling one of his career ambitions, the other being to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Aurelie Rivard (Canada)

Rivard is one of Canada’s brightest young stars. Having won Paralympic silver at London 2012, the 19-year-old went on to make it onto the podium in five events at her home World Championships in 2013.

However in 2015 Rivard really began to shine, collecting two world titles in the women’s 50m and 400m freestyle S10 just one month before Toronto 2015 was due to get underway.


The sport

Swimming is open to athletes with physical, visual and intellectual impairments who compete in 50m, 100m, 150m, 200m and 400m freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, individual medley and relay across 14 sport classes.

The sport class names in swimming consist of a prefix “S,” “SM,” or “SB” and a number. The prefixes stand for the strokes and the number indicates the sport classes.

• S: freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events

• SB: breaststroke

• SM: individual medley

No assistive devices or prosthetics are allowed to be used in the pool. The only assistance that can be given to swimmers is the use of ‘tappers’, which are long sticks used by coaches to tap visually impaired athletes when they are approaching the end of the lane.

Swimmers are allowed to start in the water or standing or sitting on the starting platform. Some swimmers start races by holding a towel in their mouths tied to the starting platform.


The venue

The CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House is the largest sport new-build for the Games and the largest investment ever in Canadian amateur sport history.

The Aquatics Centre includes two internationally sanctioned 10-lane, 50m pools (including bulkheads); a five metre deep diving tank with 3m, 5m, 7.5m and 10m platforms; and dry-land dive training facilities.

When completed, it will double the number of Olympic-sized pools in the Greater Toronto Area. Moreover, with its other features, the Centre will be the sole aquatics facility in the region that meets the latest international competition standards and will be the first facility with the required warm-up pool.