Swimming the Paralympics

In Uncategorized by Charlotte OBeirne

Chief Mermaid Charlotte O’Beirne worked for the Australian Paralympic Committee in a former life. Working with these athletes was some of the most inspiring and enlightening times. Not the sympathy type of inspiring but the – “you do what? how did you just do that?” type. The athletes worked so hard, with less funding than Olympians, and with less support. Their humour, grit and strength taught many lessons.

Did you know that of all the athletes at the Paralympic Games 60% will acquire their injury, making them eligible to compete at the Paralympics. Of this 60%, half that will compete in the next Paralympics in Paris would have watched the Tokyo games and not yet had their accident. Just pause with that thought!

We embraced the Paralympic swim program in our classes and adapted the sessions so we could feel the impact of missing a hand, a leg, two legs, an arm etc. Swimming with eyes closed was deemed a little dangerous so instead we focussed on what we could see instead. Like the Paralympians it is after all more about your ability and making the most of it than as opposed to what you can’t do.

Here is a session you might like to try:

Use the F/s swims to really crank some effot – fly for core and IM for humour

Warm up nice and gentle upto 5 x 100m as:

  • First 12 1/2 each 100 is scull – gentle kick
  • Last 12 ½ of each 100 is kick – with hands by sides.

Main Set (repeat if have the time and energy)

  • 100 back left arm for 50, right arm for 50 s8
  • 200 free s14 – Swim normal swim really strong
  • 100m Backstroke s12,
  • 200 free s14 – Swim normal swim really strong
  • 50 free s11 – Swim really fast – keep your eyes open and one eye underwater (pop eye).
  • 50 fly s5 – 50 fly kick with fins only
  • 200 IM S7 – with a pull buoy
  • 400F/s  S13 – Swim normal try to keep pop eye