21985-Rogier Dorsman photo

Rogier Dorsman



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
S11, SB11, SM11

Further personal information

Amersfoort, NED
Dutch, English, German
Higher education
Sports Marketing - Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: Netherlands

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He first took up swimming at age five at the ZZ & PC De Devel club in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands. His journey into Para swimming began in December 2012 when his sight deteriorated rapidly, and he began to struggle to swim in a straight line.
Why this sport?
His mother got him involved in Para swimming after contacting the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation [KNZB]. "Via the KNZB we came into contact with Para swimming national coach, Mark Faber, who invited me to come and visit. Once I swam with him I was allowed to come and train more often. My passion is swimming. Because I can no longer do many things due to the deterioration of my vision, swimming is great for recharging my energy or for getting rid of my negative energy like when I go for hospital check-ups."
Club / Team
ZZ & PC De Devel: Zwijndrecht, NED
Name of coach
Sander Nijhuis [national], NED; Bram Dekker [national], NED
Training Regime
He trains 20 hours a week in the water and 10 hours on land at the HPC Paralympic Centre in Amersfoort, Netherlands.

General interest

Listening to music. (Athlete, 24 Aug 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the men's S11 400m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships in London, England. (Athlete, 24 Aug 2021)
Most influential person in career
His parents. (, 23 May 2018)
A broken finger in June 2020 affected his training. (, 01 Dec 2020)

A shoulder injury prevented him from competing at the 2016 Dutch Youth and Junior Short Course Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (, 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Don't worry, be happy." (Athlete, 24 Aug 2021)
Awards and honours
He was the flag bearer for the Netherlands at the closing ceremony of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 04 Sep 2021)

In 2019 he was named Sportsman of the Year in the municipality of Zwijndrecht, Netherlands. (, 29 Jan 2020)

In 2019 he was nominated for Paralympic Athlete of the Year by the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation [NOC*NSF]. (, 24 Nov 2019)
To compete at the 2022 World Championships in Madeira, Portugal. (LinkedIn profile, 20 Apr 2022)
He began to lose his vision in 2012 as the result of choroideremia. The condition, which mainly affects males, causes a person's sight to worsen progressively. (, 19 Jul 2018;, 28 Oct 2015)
Other information
In 2019 he was reclassified to S11. "I have been tested in Berlin and will be in the S11 class for the next four years. This means that I have to swim in all competitions wearing blind goggles." (, 30 Dec 2019)

He put his sports marketing studies at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, as part of the Johan Cruyff Academy, on hold to focus on preparing for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "I started that academic year [2018/19] with two mornings of classes, and I was training the rest of the week in Amersfoort. But in 2019 I paused my studies to prepare full-time for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. I hope to be able to continue my studies after Tokyo." (, 30 Dec 2019)

He said the combination of his retinal and optic nerve conditions is unheard of in the Netherlands, making it impossible for doctors to predict when he will completely lose his sight. "There is a retinal disease in our family called choroidalemia. It is a genetic condition in which holes occur in several layers of the retina, making it impossible to perform a retinal transplant. Unfortunately, there is nothing yet we can do about it. For most people this disease starts at around age 40 to 50, but I was only 13 when it started. They also discovered that I have a gene disorder of the optic nerve, the OPA1 gene disorder. I am the first in the Netherlands to have this combination, so there is no experience to predict what my future is. It may well be tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year that I completely lose my vision. No one can say, but I know my future is total blindness." His personal website contains a series of images showing the gradual deterioration of his vision from his point of view. (, 30 Dec 2019)