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What is Reece Dunn's disability? Swimmer adds gold in Paralympics

Joshua Rogers August 27, 2021
2020 Tokyo Paralympics - Day 1
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Team GB swimmer Reece Dunn has added a gold medal to the silver he won in the men’s S14 100m butterfly on Wednesday. The swimmer emerged on the scene in 2019, winning three golds and a silver at the world championships in London. People want to know what Reece Dunn’s disability is as well as what the S14 classification means.

Reece Dunn wins silver in men’s S14 100m butterfly

Team GB’s Reece Dunn took silver in the men’s S14 100m butterfly at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games on Wednesday (25 August).

Dunn touched the wall in 55.12 secs, more than half a second down on his world record.

Super. Human. | Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Trailer

Super. Human. | Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Trailer

He was beaten by Brazil’s Gabriel Bandeira, who was crowned Paralympic champion.

Speaking about his silver after the race, Reece said: Obviously I’m happy about getting a silver. I’m a little disappointed with my finish but I’m still happy.

“I knew it was going to be a tough race that would go down to the last five metres. He obviously just beat me to it.”

He follows that up with gold in the men’s S14 200m freestyle

Dunn added to his silver from earlier in the week by winning the men’s S14 200m freestyle.

The 25-year-old managed to hold off Brazil’s Gabriel Bandeira by 0.34sec to claim the gold.

“After the 100 fly on Wednesday I was more motivated. I had to go out strong towards the 150m,” said Dunn.

“I felt great, the whole swim felt great, and then the pain came on the last half a length and I just had to hang on.”

What is swimmer Reece Dunn’s disability?

The swimmer emerged on the scene in 2019, winning three golds and a silver at the world championships in London.

Reece Dunn’s disability is autism and he started swimming at the age of nine as his parents wanted him to learn a life skill.

They enrolled him at the Devonport Royal club in Plymouth, England.

“Swimming is my way of escaping the outside world and lets me be where I feel most comfortable,” he said.

In June, he broke the S14 100m and 200m freestyle records at the World Para Swimming World Series event in Berlin.

He then won individual gold in the S14 200m freestyle and S14 100m butterfly at the world championships.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

What does S14 stand for in the Paralympics?

Dunn competed in the men’s S14 100m butterfly.

The sport classes in swimming consist of a prefix “S” or “SB” and a number. The prefixes stand for the strokes and the number indicates the sport classes.

The prefixes stand for:

• S: freestyle, butterfly and backstroke

• SB: breaststroke

S14 swimmers have an intellectual impairment, which typically leads to the athletes having difficulties with regards to pattern recognition, sequencing and memory.

It can also mean they have a slower reaction time, which has an impact on sports performance in general.

S14 swimmers show a higher number of strokes relative to their speed than able-bodied elite swimmers.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.