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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
Teresa Perales of Spain celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women's 50m Backstroke - S5 on day 9 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Teresa Perales Fernandez

Swimming
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15
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Born in 1975, Perales started swimming at age 19, after developing neuropathy. Her first international appearance was in 1998 at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she won a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle.

Just two years later, Perales made her Paralympic Games debut, winning a silver in the 50m butterfly and four bronze medals, in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and the 50m backstroke at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Perales finished the World Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina with a total of eight medals, but none of them were gold.

After her five medals in Sydney, Perales managed to improve this result at Athens 2004, adding two gold medals to her collection.

Being a double-Paralympic champion, Perales again could not secure that world title at the 2006 IPC Swimming World Championships in Durban, South Africa, finishing second in the 50m butterfly and third in the 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke.

Returning to the Paralympic Games stage two years later in Beijing, Perales put on her best performance yet, securing three Paralympic golds and breaking two world records. She won the gold medal in the 50m freestyle in a world-record time of 35.88, and in the 100m freestyle in the world record time of 1:16.65. One more silver medal followed in the 50m backstroke, and a bronze in the 100m breaststroke.

After Beijing, Perales, who was voted onto the IPC Athletes Council, took some time off the sport to give birth to her child before returning to the international stage in July 2011 at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Berlin. And what a come back she had, winning a total of eight medals, including one gold in the 100m freestyle, four silver and three bronze medals.

The London 2012 Paralympics were Perales' fourth Games, and she retained her 100m freestyle title for the third consecutive time.

For Rio 2016, Perales switched tactics and decided to focus on the 50m backstroke - an event which she had never won gold in despte many podium appearances. Having taken the world title in 2015 and European title in early 2016, Perales managed to claim her first Paralympic gold in the event in Rio.

Perales is still going strong in the pool, and remains one of the swimmers to beat in the S5 events chased by Norway's Sarah-Louise Rung.

Aside from her athletic exploits, Perales is an excellent advocate for the Paralympic Movement and speaks publicly about her experiences as a Para athlete to inspire the next generation.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Impaired muscle power
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S5, SB4, SM5

Further personal information

Family
Husband Mariano Menor [2005], son Mariano [2010]
Residence
Zaragoza, ESP
Occupation
Athlete, Coach, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English, Spanish
Higher education
Physiotherapy - University of Zaragoza: Spain

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport at age 19, and began competing in swimming in 1995.
Why this sport?
"I started swimming without thinking about competing. I just wanted to float, to feel free in the water."
Club / Team
Club Deportivo ASSER: Spain
Name of coach
Maria Folgado [national], ESP; Angel Santamaria Cuevas [personal], from 2002

International debut

Year
1998
Competing for
Spain
Location
New Zealand

General interest

Hobbies
Reading, watching and playing sport, listening to music, spending time with family. (Facebook page, 23 Mar 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the S5 100m freestyle at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2015)
Hero / Idol
French Para swimmer Beatrice Hess. (as.com, 03 Mar 2019)
Injuries
She suffered two herniated discs towards the end of 2016. (heraldo.es, 15 Aug 2017)

An illness forced her to miss the 2013 World Championships in Montreal, QC, Canada. She returned to international competition at the 2014 European Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (paralympic.org, 23 Feb 2015)
Awards and honours
In 2018 she received the Education and Freedom Award from the Spanish Association of Private Education Centres [ACADE] in Spain. (heraldo.es, 26 Apr 2018)

She was presented with the Infanta Sofia Award at the National Sports Awards of 2016 in Spain. (elperiodicodearagon.com, 20 Feb 2018)

In 2017 she received the Gold Medal for Merit at Work from the Spanish government. (as.com, 27 Jul 2017)

In 2015 she became the first Para athlete to receive the Premio Leyenda [Legend Award] from the Spanish sports newspaper Marca. (fundaciontelefonica.com, 29 Sep 2015)

In 2012 and 2014 she was honoured with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Sporting Merit of Spain. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018; paralympic.org, 02 Apr 2014)

In 2013 she was presented with the Best Aragonese Athlete Award at the 16th edition of the Sports Gala of Aragon in Spain. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018)

In 2012 she was given the Juan Palau Award for Best Sportsman of the Year by the Spanish Sports Federation of People with Physical Disabilities. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018)

In 2012 she received the Aragonese of the Year Award in Spain. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018)

In 2009 she was decorated with the Royal Order of Sports Merit and the Gold Medal for Merit in Spain. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018)

In 2008 she was granted the title of the Favoured Daughter of Zaragoza by the Zaragoza Council in Spain. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018)
Other sports
She competed in karate prior to her swimming career. (paralympic.org, 20 May 2010)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (as.com, 03 Mar 2019)
Impairment
She lost feeling in her legs over the course of three months at age 19 due to neuropathy. (chicagotribune.com, 21 Sep 2012)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2003 she was elected as Member of Parliament [MP] of the Aragonese Party [PAR] for Zaragoza in the Aragonese Corts in Spain. She has also served as a member of the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] Athletes' Council, and worked as an ambassador for Madrid's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018; paralympic.org, 29 Apr 2016; LinkedIn profile, 19 May 2018)

BOOKS
In 2007 she wrote a biography about her life called 'Mi Vida Sobre Ruedas' [My Life on Wheels] with her husband Mariano Menor, who is a journalist. Her second book, 'La Fuerza de un Sueno' [The Strength of a Dream] was released in 2014. (mujeresnotables.com, 15 Sep 2018; LinkedIn profile, 19 May 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heat 2 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final Round 3
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Heat 1 3
Women's 50 m Butterfly S6 Heat 1 6
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Heat 1 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 1 1
IPC Swimming World Championships Durban 2006 (Durban, South Africa)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heats 3
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34 pts Final Round 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heats 3
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34 pts Final Round 4
Athens 2004 Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 4x50 m Medley 20 pts Final Round 2
Women's 4x50 m Freestyle 20 pts Final Round 4
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final Round 3
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Heat 1 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heat 2 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 1 1
IPC Swimming World Championships Mar del Plata 2002 (Mar del Plata, Argentina)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heats (S3-5) 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heats 3
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 3
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Heats 3
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heats 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heats 2
Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games (Sydney, Australia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 3
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heat 1 1
Women's 4x50 m Medley 20 pts Final Round 7
Women's 4x50 m Freestyle 20 pts Final Round 5
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heat 2 1
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final Round 3
IPC Swimming World Championships Christchurch 1998 (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 4x50 m Medley Open Final Round 4
Women's 4x50 m Freestyle Open Final Round 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S6 Final Round 7
Women's 100 m Freestyle S6 Heats 6
Women's 50 m Butterfly S6 Final Round 8
Women's 50 m Butterfly S6 Heats 7
Women's 50 m Freestyle S6 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S6 Heats 1
Women's 400 m Freestyle S6 Final Round 4
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 1 2012-08-30 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2012-08-30 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Heat 2 2012-08-31 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Final Round 2012-08-31 3
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2012-09-01 2
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2012-09-01 2
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2012-09-03 4
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Heat 2 2012-09-04 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB4 Final Round 2012-09-04 3
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heat 1 2012-09-07 1
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final Round 2012-09-07 2
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final Round 2012-09-07 5
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2012-09-08 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2012-09-08 1
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Heat 1 2015-07-13 4
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final 1 2015-07-13 1
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heat 2 2015-07-13 3
Mixed 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Final 1 2015-07-13 5
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Final 1 2015-07-15 3
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2015-07-15 3
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heat 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final 1 2015-07-16 5
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final 1 2015-07-17 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2015-07-17 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Final 1 2015-07-18 3
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Heat 1 2015-07-18 4
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2015-07-19 6
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2015-07-19 3
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final 1 2015-07-19 1
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2016-09-08 3
Women's 200 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2016-09-08 2
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Final Round 2016-09-10 5
Women's 50 m Butterfly S5 Heat 2 2016-09-10 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2016-09-12 4
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2016-09-12 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Heat 2 2016-09-15 2
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM5 Final Round 2016-09-15 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heat 2 2016-09-16 1
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final Round 2016-09-16 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 2 2016-09-17 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final Round 2016-09-17 2
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Heat 1 2017-12-02 4
Women's 100 m Freestyle S5 Final 1 2017-12-02 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Heat 2 2017-12-04 2
Women's 50 m Backstroke S5 Final 1 2017-12-04 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Heat 1 2017-12-05 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S5 Final 1 2017-12-05 1