Font size bigger Font size smaller
Imagen
Upper body of a woman, raising her arms in the air

Rebecca Meyers

Swimming
3
2
1

At only 22 years old, Rebecca Meyers is already a multiple-world record holder, and has won three Paralympic titles and 10 medals at World Championships.

She made her Paralympic debut at London 2012, claiming one silver and one bronze. The following year, Meyers won her maiden world titles in Montreal, Canada, rounding off an outstanding performance with two golds and two silvers.

In 2015, she again shined at the World Championships, winning two golds and one silver in Glasgow, Great Britain. By the end of that year, she received the ‘Best Female Athlete with a Disability ESPY Award’ from US broadcast television network ABC.

But Meyers’ best performance so far came in 2016, when she sealed her first three Paralympic titles in Rio, as well as a silver medal, setting two world records along the way.

In 2017, she aims to continue her run at the World Championships in Mexico City, from 30 September-7 October.

The US swimmer was born with Usher syndrome, a condition that affects both vision and hearing. She took up the sport in 2000 and has not stopped since.

Amongst her hobbies, she includes reading, travelling, baking cupcakes, listening to music and hanging out with friends.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
S12, SB12, SM12

Further personal information

Residence
Baltimore, MD, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English
Higher education
History - Franklin and Marshall College: Lancaster, PA, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming in 2000 at age six in Baltimore, MD, United States of America.
Why this sport?
"It was a sport that did not require physical contact with a ball. I feel free in the water. When I was trying out soccer, I had a hard time seeing the ball, and hearing referee calls, so I would get hit in the face, but when I swim, it's fun, simple, and easy. I just need to focus on the technique and stay in my lane."
Club / Team
Nation's Capital Swim Club [NCAP]: United States
Name of coach
Bruce Gemmell [club], USA

General interest

Nicknames
Bec, Becca (baltimoresun.com, 16 Jul 2012; swimswam.com, 19 Apr 2015; Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
Hobbies
Baking, spending time with her guide dog. (Facebook page, 27 Nov 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning her first medal at the Paralympic Games, which was bronze in the women's S13 100m freestyle at the 2012 Games in London. (Athlete, 06 Dec 2017)
Hero / Idol
US swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. (Athlete, 06 Dec 2017)
Injuries
In December 2012 she sustained a concussion after crashing head-on into another swimmer during training. She returned to training in February 2013. (teamusa.org, 22 May 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Winners never quit, quitters never win." (Athlete, 06 Dec 2017)
Awards and honours
She won the 2016, 2018 and 2019 USA Swimming Trischa L. Zorn Award, which is presented for the most outstanding performance of the year by a Para swimmer. (swimswam.com, 24 Dec 2019; paralympic.org, 02 Oct 2018; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 24 Sep 2016)

She received the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly [ESPY] Award for Best Female with an Impairment in 2015 and 2017 from US television network ESPN. (teamusa.org, 16 Jul 2015; paralympic.org, 14 Jul 2017)

She was named 2011 Female Sportsperson of the Year by the USA Deaf Sports Federation [USADSF]. (marylandmatters.org, 16 Jul 2019)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and to continue being a role model to younger children. (paralympic.org, 31 Oct 2016, 07 Mar 2017; marylandmatters.org, 16 Jul 2019)
Impairment
She has Usher syndrome, which affects her vision and hearing. She has been deaf since birth and uses a cochlear implant to allow her to hear. (baltimoresun.com, 16 Jul 2012; Twitter profile, 27 Nov 2018)
Other information
NEW COACH AND CLUB FOR TOKYO
In June 2019 she announced that she would be changing club and coach, leaving North Baltimore Aquatic Club and coach Paul Yetter to train at the Nation's Capital Swim Club [NCAP] under Bruce Gemmell. "I've heard nothing but great things about the team at NCAP. As I prepare for the [2020] Paralympic Games, I decided this is the best move for my career right now. Birdie [her guide dog] and I are excited to join NCAP and work with Bruce Gemmell to take my training to the next level." (swimswam.com, 01 Jun 2019)

SERVICE DOG
She has a service dog named Birdie who was born in 2014 and trained at The Seeing Eye, a guide dog school for the blind in Morristown, NJ, United States of America. "She is my eyes in this world. Birdie has changed my life and has redefined the word 'independence' for me, and she is my biggest cheerleader in and out of the pool. She gives me confidence and independence to get to the pool, as well as all around the country safely." (wjla.com, 21 Aug 2019; teamusa.org, 25 Aug 2017)

Results

Unit Date Rank
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Final Round 2012-09-01 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Heat 2 2012-09-01 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Final Round 2012-09-02 3
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Heat 2 2012-09-02 3
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Final Round 2012-09-07 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Heat 2 2012-09-07 3
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB13 Heat 2 2012-09-08 5
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Final 1 2013-08-12 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S13 Final 1 2013-08-14 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2013-08-15 4
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Heat 2 2013-08-15 6
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2013-08-16 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Heat 1 2013-08-18 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2013-08-18 2
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2015-07-13 4
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Heat 2 2015-07-13 6
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Heat 3 2015-07-14 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Final 1 2015-07-14 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Heat 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2015-07-16 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB13 Heat 1 2015-07-17 5
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB13 Final 1 2015-07-17 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2015-07-18 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Heat 1 2015-07-18 5
Women's 100 m Butterfly S13 Final 1 2015-07-19 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S13 Heat 1 2015-07-19 1
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Butterfly S13 Final Round 2016-09-08 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S13 Heat 2 2016-09-08 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Heat 3 2016-09-10 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM13 Final Round 2016-09-10 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Final Round 2016-09-12 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Heat 2 2016-09-12 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Swim-Off 2016-09-14 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Final Round 2016-09-14 6
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Heat 1 2016-09-14 3
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Final Round 2016-09-16 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Heat 1 2016-09-16 1
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2017-12-03 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S13 Final 1 2017-12-04 2
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Heat 1 2017-12-05 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2017-12-05 6
Women's 400 m Freestyle S13 Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB13 Final 1 2017-12-06 3