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4735-Veronica Almeida photo

Veronica Almeida

Swimming
2

Biography

Impairment information

Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S7, SB7, SM7

Further personal information

Family
Twin children Marcelo and Bianca
Residence
Salvador, BRA
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English, French, Portuguese
Higher education
Physical Education - Gama Filho University: Rio de Janeiro, BRA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age five, and took up Para swimming in 2007 in Salvador, Brazil.
Why this sport?
Her doctors recommended that she take up the sport. "Besides my treatment, swimming is what really keeps me alive."
Club / Team
Yacht Clube da Bahia: Salvador, BRA

International debut

Year
2008
Competing for
Brazil

General interest

Most influential person in career
Her former husband Marcelo Almeida. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2015)
Hero / Idol
Brazilian Para swimmer Andre Brasil. (Athlete, 19 Jul 2015)
Injuries
In May 2017 she was hospitalised and put into an induced coma after sustaining convulsions at her home. She was released from hospital ten days later. (metro1.com.br, 04 May 2017; correio24horas.com.br, 08 May 2018, 11 May 2018)

She has undergone multiple surgeries to her right shoulder due to dislocations caused by her condition. (Facebook page, 01 May 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Nothing is impossible until you try." (Athlete, 19 Jul 2015)
Impairment
She has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, diagnosed in 2007, which affects her ability to produce collagen, provoking ligament weakening and loss of strength. She was only expected to live for a year after the diagnosis but managed to raise enough money to travel to France for a new type of treatment. Of the 20 people given treatment, she was the only one to survive. Due to the condition, doctors believed there was only a one in 150,000 chance that she could become pregnant. However, she conceived and gave birth to healthy twins. (tedxpelourinho.com.br, 17 Sep 2011; globoesporte.globo.com, 11 Nov 2015; brasil2016.gov.br, 12 Aug 2015)
Other information
DOCUMENTARY
She was the focus of the 2017 documentary 'Mar Grande' [Great Sea]. The documentary followed her journey to setting a world record as the fastest person with one arm to swim 10 kilometres on open waters, after crossing a strait connecting the cities of Mar Grande and Salvador in Brazil in 2015. "I really want the film to enter the [commercial] circuit and to inspire more people. Because, as much as I give interviews, give talks, a movie is different." (caixa.gov.br, 15 Jan 2015; atarde.uol.com.br, 07 Feb 2017)

NEW TREATMENT
When she began using a wheelchair due to her condition, she lost her job as a physical education teacher. Searching on the internet she discovered an experimental treatment with stem cells that was being used in France to treat Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. She raised the money to go there, around 60,000 Euros, with the help of friends and relatives. Once in France she had to wait for five days to begin the treatment, with no money for lodging and food. "I had to stay on the street, it was very difficult. One day, I met one Brazilian who helped me a lot." She began treatment in 2008, but after regaining some movement in her legs her condition worsened in 2018 and she was forced to raise money again to continue with the treatment. (globoesporte.globo.com, 11 Nov 2015; brasil2016.gov.br, 12 Aug 2015; correio24horas.com.br, 29 Jun 2018, 14 Nov 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 3
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final Round 3
IPC Swimming World Championships Eindhoven 2010 (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 4x50 m Medley 20pts Heat 1 1
Women's 4x50 m Medley 20pts Final Round 4
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 2
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final Round 3
Women's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 1 6
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 2012-08-31 4
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final Round 2012-08-31 7
Women's 100 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2012-09-03 9999
Women's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2012-09-04 7
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 2 2013-08-14 10
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 2013-08-17 5
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final 1 2013-08-17 7
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Final 1 2013-08-18 5
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 1 2015-07-14 9999
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Heat 1 2015-07-16 6
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Final 1 2015-07-16 6
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 2015-07-17 5
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final 1 2015-07-17 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S7 Final 1 2015-07-19 8
Women's 50 m Freestyle S7 Heat 1 2015-07-19 8
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Heat 1 2016-09-10 3
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB7 Final Round 2016-09-10 7
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Heat 2 2016-09-12 4
Women's 50 m Butterfly S7 Final Round 2016-09-12 8
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Heat 2 2016-09-13 4
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM7 Final Round 2016-09-13 9999
Women's 4x100 m Freestyle 34pts Final Round 2016-09-15 7