2016 Male Paralympic Swimmer of the Year: Ihar Boki
Belarus’s Ihar Boki swam his way to the highest gold medal total of any Paralympic swimmer in Rio this summer, earning 6 gold medals.
Swimming in the S13 class, for athletes with visual impairments, Boki won 6 of his 7 races in Rio. That included the 50 free, 100 free, 400 free, 200 IM and world records in the 100 back and 100 fly. Showing off his versatility, Boki also took third in the 100 breaststroke in his class.
That bettered his 2012 total – an already-impressive 5 golds and 1 silver. Boki was the only swimmer to hit 5 golds in Rio. He also ranks 6th in total medals, having won 7 at the Rio Paralympics.
In no particular order:
- Daniel Dias, Brazil: won a Paralympic-high 9 swimming medals in front of a home crowd in Rio. Followed up a disappointing Rio Olympics for the home team in swimming with one of the finest Paralympic performances in history. Dias won 4 golds, 3 silvers and 2 bronze in all, competing in the S5 category for all events except the 100 breast, where he was SB4.
- Ievgenii Bogodaiko, Ukraine: tied with Dias at 9 total swimming medals with the exact same 4 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze showing. Also set world records in the 100 breast SB6 and 200 IM S7
- Maksym Krypak, Ukraine: finished behind only Boki in total gold medals with 5. Krypak competed in S10, setting a world record in the 400 free.
- Huang Wenpan, China: led a historically-dominant Chinese team that won 92 total swimming medals, a record for the Paralympics. Wenpan accounted for 6 himself, 5 gold and a silver. He also set an S3 world record in the 200 free.