Para swimming for men and women has been a part of the Paralympic program since the first Games in 1960 in Rome, Italy. Today, the races are highly competitive and among the largest and most popular events in the Paralympic Games. Paralympic swimming competitions occur in 50-meter pools and, while competing, no prostheses or assistive devices may be worn.
Paralympic swimming competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as dwarfism, amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users, cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke, cognitive impairment, and Les autres.
World Para Swimming, under the governance of the International Paralympic Committee, acts as the international federation for the sport and is based in Bonn, Germany. Competition opportunities include the Paralympic Games every four years, biennial World Championships, and biennial or quadrennial regional Championships. The World Series, featuring a number of swim meets around the world, was launched in 2017 to provide greater classification opportunities and top-level competition opportunities for athletes.