Since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960, Para-swimming has been a feature of the Paralympic program. Like the Olympic Games, competitors measure their skills in backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and medley events.
Male and female athletes with a physical, vision or intellectual impairment are eligible to compete. Athletes are classified based on their functional ability to perform each stroke.
The International Swimming Federation’s rules are followed with a few modifications, such as optional platform or in-water starts for some races, and the use of signals or ‘tappers’ for swimmers with a vision impairment. No prostheses or assistive devices are permitted.