Swimming featured from the first Paralympic Games in 1960. Since then, Swimming has become one of the biggest sports at the Paralympic Games because of the many events and classification groups included. Swimming was an important part of rehabilitation at the National Spinal Injuries Centre under Dr Guttmann and did feature in early competitions.​

Video still of an interview with Chris Holmes

An interview with swimmer Chris Holmes


In 1992 at Barcelona, Chris Holmes pulled off the extraordinary feat of winning six golds. Read more

Paralympic swimmer Mike Kenney with his medals.

An interview with Mike Kenny

Mike Kenny started swimming at the Stoke Mandeville National Games in 1973 before going on to be the UK’s most successful Paralympic athlete to date. Read more

Hospital club swimming in the 1970s

Mike Kenny is the UK’s most successful Paralympic athlete to date with a total of 16 gold and 2 silver medals. He describes how he first got into swimming here. Read more

Winning gold at 4 Games

Mike describes his memories of winning 16 gold medals over 4 Games.

A video still of swimmers at the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics

Film of swimming in 1955 and 1964


Watch archive film footage of races in the first Stoke Mandeville pool from 1955 and of the competition at the 1964 Tokyo games.

Head and shoulders photo of Isabel Newstead with her gold medal

Biography of Isabel Newstead

Born Isabel Barr in Glasgow, Isabel swam competitively as a young girl. In her late teens her spinal cord was was damaged by a virus which left her paralysed from the neck down. Read more

Robin Surgeoner won four gold medals at Seoul in 1988

Robin Surgeoner talks about preparing for his races in Seoul 1988. Read more

Seoul opening ceremony memories

Robin Surgeoner recalls how he felt at the Seoul Games opening ceremony. Read more

Video still of an interview with James OShea

Swimming classification


James O'Shea talks about the classification of amputee swimmers. Read more

Tara Flood on the New York and Seoul Games

Tara talks about competing in both the New York 1984 and Seoul 1988 Games. Read more

Tara Flood interview about Barcelona

Tara remembers what it was like to participate in Barcelona 1992. Read more