Pasadena, CA, to Host 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships
30 Jul, 2014
Just two years out from the start of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the United States will send 45 athletes (27 women, 18 men) to the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships, Aug. 6-10 , at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena, California. With athletes from 19 countries competing, it is the most prestigious meet of the year for Team USA’s Paralympic-eligible swimmers, including Ian Silverman (Baltimore, Maryland), who will swim collegiately at the University of Southern California this fall.
Admission to the competition is free while tickets to the Opening Ceremony, 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 4, are on sale now for $25 at RoseBowlAquatics.org. Competition is daily from Aug. 6-10 with preliminaries at 9:30 a.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m.
“While we are excited to see many of our 2012 U.S. Paralympians again on the international stage, we are really looking forward to watching our up and coming athletes to establish themselves in Pasadena,” said Queenie Nichols, high performance director for U.S. Paralympics Swimming. “With the next two years being so important for these athletes, the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships are a great way for them to see where they are at on their Road to Rio. With Paralympic champions from around the world coming to the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, there will be no shortage of great performances.”
The U.S. roster is highlighted by 2012 Paralympic gold medalist and 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships gold medalist Silverman, who will become a fixture in Southern California later this year when he starts his freshman season with the Trojans. The 2014 U.S. Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Team, which is the largest ever to swim for the U.S. at a major international meet, was selected based on performances at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Spring National Championships/Spring CanAm, March 27-29, in Miami, where Silverman set a world record.
Silverman is joined by 2012 Paralympic Games gold medalists Jessica Long (Baltimore, Maryland) and U.S. Navy veteran Brad Snyder (Baltimore, Maryland) and 16 other 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team members. London medalists Tucker Dupree (Raleigh, North Carolina), Cortney Jordan (Henderson, Nevada), Rebecca Meyers (Timonium, Maryland), Roy Perkins (Del Mar, California) and Noga Nir-Kistler (Allentown, Pennsylvania) are slated to compete at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships.
The U.S. roster also includes 21 athletes who competed at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, helping Team USA to a fourth place finish in the medal standings with 33 medals. Jordan, Long, Meyers, Perkins and Silverman all won world titles last year.
Setting the stage for Pasadena, Team USA athletes have set seven world records in IPC recognized events (distances) at competitions this year: Dupree swam a 28.07 in the men's 50m backstroke (S12); Jordan swam a 22:09.68 in the women's 1500m freestyle (S7); Long swam a 1:09.60 in the women's 100m butterfly (S8) and a 2:36.50 in the 200m fly (S8); Lovejoy swam a 3:31.09 in the men's 100m breaststroke (SB1); Meyers swam a 9:32.05 in the women's 800m free (S13); and Silverman swam a 4:53.24 in the men's 400m individual medley and a 16:19.70 in the men's 1500m freestyle (S10). Long, who recently served as on-air talent for NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, currently holds 12 world records.
In addition to the United States, countries sending swimmers to Pasadena are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Ecuador, India, Japan, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.
International athletes competing include Australia’s 13-time Paralympic champion Matt Cowdrey, who won five gold medals at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in the S9 and SM9 classifications, and eight-time Paralympic champion Jacqui Freney; Brazil’s six-time Paralympic champion Andre Brasil, who won three gold medals at 2013 worlds in the S10 classification; Canada’s nine-time Paralympic champion Benoit Huot, who won gold in the men’s 200m individual medley (S10) at 2013 worlds, and Brianna Nelson, who took gold in the women’s 50m butterfly (S7) at worlds; and South Africa’s two-time Paralympic champion Charl Bouwer and Paralympic champion Kevin Paul. Silverman is also in the S10 classification, regularly battling Brasil and Huot.
Following the action in Pasadena, the next major events for U.S. swimmers include the International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships scheduled for July 18-25, 2015, the Parapan American Games, scheduled for Aug. 7-15, 2015, and the Paralympic Games scheduled for Sept. 7-18, 2016. (The Olympic Games are Aug. 5-21, 2016.)