5-Time Paralympic Medalist Stephanie Millward Reclassified to S8 Category

5-time Olympic medalist is expected to be reclassified to the S8 category, SwimSwam has been told by an anonymous source, after the results of 2 of her 3 classification tests at this week’s IDM International meet in Berlin, Germany.

The 34-year old Millward is one of a large group of swimmers, including several Paralympic medal contenders, who are undergoing classification tests this week before the German-hosted meet that serves as a final major international tune-up before the Paralympics begin in Rio in September. On Wednesday, she underwent the bench test and in-water observation tests, which make up two-thirds of the testing done in classification proceedings, and the preliminary results will have her compete in the S8/SB8/SM8 categories in Rio. Previously, she had competed in the S9 category

The third-and-final test will be an observation of a race later in the week, once competition begins on Thursday, but it’s unlikely (not impossible) that the competition test will change the results of the first two evaluations.

Millward won 5 Olympic medals in front of a home British crowd in 2012: 4 silvers, and one bronze. Now she’ll join what is arguably the most competitive class in Paralympic swimming, which includes names like Maddison Elliott from Australia, Jessica Long from the USA, Lakeisha Patterson from Australia, and Olesia Vladykina from Russia.

Millward immediately moves to the top of that list in her primary events. Her 2016 year-best times so far would rank her 1st in the S8 class in the 100 free and 100 back.

American swimmers Ian Silverman and MacKenzie Coan are both also on track to be reclassified after their tests on Tuesday.

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I know nothing about Stephanie Millward and have no intention of making a direct comment about her classification.
However I do know that the IPC gurus tell us that classification is all about creating a level playing field for athletes.
Based on times this year Stephanie is not only top of the heap in the S8 freestyle and backstroke events, she is ahead of her closest rival in 100 backstroke by 7 seconds and will have the S8 100 backstroke WR by almost 2 seconds. This does not sound like a level playing field to me. I guess the up side is that she will give those other 2 very dubious S8s from Australia a run for their money.


As the father of an British S8 swimmer who is the same as her idol Jess Long in disability, this is so wrong on many levels !!!!
I have watched Steph swim at many championships and seen her walk in to the venue and then the wheelchair comes out !!!
No swimmer no matter how good they are can compete with a swimmer with 4 working limbs !!!!
Jess will be robbed by classifiers in Rio
Level playing field my ass
IPC should be ashamed

Sour grapes

Good Luck with that mate – she didn’t make the rules though did she? Looking forward to seeing both swimmers on the podium – who’s your kid then ?

Visibly crippled

You all clearly know nothing about MS. Have a look at Kadeena Cox she’s a paralympian sprinter and cyclist with MS – and guess what, she can walk and has 4 working limbs. Not heard anyone complaining about her. If you didn’t have a daughter competing as an S8 swimmer you wouldn’t care nor would Steve Long – all he’s worried about is how much money he might lose. You all should be ashamed


Given you bring up Kadeena Cox – she was initially classified in athletics as a T37, then reclassified to the minimum-disability T38 class; initially classified in cycling as a C2, then reclassified at Para Track Worlds to the less-impaired C4 class (she then broke the C4 World Record in the 500m ITT event).

Says something about subjectivity in classifying athletes with neuro impairments, MS as a variable condition, or a combination of both.

(I am a classified athlete with neuro impairments)


I take it you have never seen the results of classification that puts a bi-lateral amputee up from an S8 to S9 for her one stump being 1.5mm to long !!! Being told that your daughter has to work harder in her new class. Taking to the blocks to race and watching her try her best against a swimmer with 4 working limbs. Trouble with people like you is you hide behind your fake name and post comments and bitch that i would not care if my daughter was a different classification. Well you are wrong i have seen cheating and would willingly say my comments to your face and explain and show you swimmers that claim they are more… Read more »


I am not an Olympian but I do have MS. To look at me you might think
I have four working limbs but MS is unpredictable. Before my condition deteriorated earlier this year you might have seen me park my car in a disabled bay then walk to the supermarket to buy a few items, with no obvious sign of disability. Within the hour I would be almost on my knees – the struggle to walk back to my car an enormous effort. You are free to have your opinion but perhaps you need to understand the considerable problems MS can create.


Classifications are basically like throwing darts at this point. Either you’re classed out or reclassify and are leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. There shouldn’t be that kind of gap between 1st and 2nd in the world. Not when times and time standards continue to drop across the board.


I think the name of this story shows exactly how bad some of the classifiers are. 5 Time medalist……………does this not tell you straight up that she is obviously in the correct classification as an S9? That she has been an S9 for over 10 years supports it as well? Going through her times compared to S8s shows how much she is going to dominate this class. Obviously a very big stuff up happened on the day of classification. After reading this I decided to tune in to the IDM Swimming heats which was available on IPC swimming to watch. I noticed that when this swimmer came onto pool deck she was assisted with a wheelchair and also someone to… Read more »


Beyond belief that the IPC expects this to be taken seriously when we witness the likes of Tully Kearney and now Stephanie Millward rising out of wheelchairs to pull out the times that they do in the water. Water must have magical properties I haven’t discovered yet.

Disgusted and ashamed

Absolutely agree with you ! How can someone as s10 who can quite happily walk suddenly go in a wheel chair – and the. To add insult to Injury start claiming they should actually be an S8 ! It’s a total mockery that A space has been given a place on the Rio team when Infact 1- she never qualified for world champs last year – but got a place 2- she never raced at trials This year – feigning illness yet again – AGAIN 3- has been given a place on the team – and ironically enough has been kept out of any racing to keep her under the radar from classifiers !! 4. Claims to not be able… Read more »


Of course Tully Kearney can use her legs. 2:31 for 200IM, 4:30 something for 400 free, come on.

The fact that we support para swimming does not mean that we have first had a lobotomy.

fairness advocate

It will create more situations like Heather Frederickson. Wheelchair bound when she was swimming, now not only mobilising unaided but carrying a toddler on her shoulders according to evidence on her fb page.


The point you have made ‘it’s all been planned in advance to win medals’ I believe to be true. I do think deals are struck and no questions are asked. Goodness only knows why though. GBs Tully Kearney and Aus Maddison Elliott from IPC World Championships 2015 are very interesting. Both had outstanding results – but did they deserve them? Do they deserve to be called World Champions? Should their countries be proud of them and their sporting achievements? Not if its staged sport with the intention of winning medals. So, is it the IPC that’s driving this deception or is it NPC Management? It can’t just solely be the athletes. If it was just the athletes Elliott, for example,… Read more »


FYI, Stephanie goes horse riding with very disabled children to help them as an unpaid volunteer, and also. How is riding a horse an indication of a disability? She is using the horses legs you Pratt! Horse riding is not the human carrying the horse!

Visibly crippled

You are obviously completely ignorant of MS and it’s effects on the human body. You should meet an MS sufferer and then make your vile comments to their face instead of hiding behind this website. People like you think a missing limb is required to have a real disability. I suggest you read about MS. No two days are the same for MS sufferers. A common cold is 10 times worse. The flu leaves you unable to move. Not to mention incontinence, temporary blindness and the list goes on. Some days a wheelchair is not required, other days it’s essential. Eventually it’s permanent. Unlike with other disabilities athletes with MS never know how they will be from one day to… Read more »


So the fact two days are never the same means that they should be reclassified lower ???
Why not move them up ??? I mean watching a swimmer that has a very good functional kick against a bi-lateral amputee makes it all fair !!!

Sour grapes

Maybe have a look at a few who were originally misclassified mate – also pretty sure ms should be s8 and has been swimming against de toit for 10 years. Maybe a few retrospective medals …

Sour grapes

I too feel disgusted and ashamed – thought we saved this kind of thing for Jeremy Kyle
And ukip ? Good luck with all though – no chance this is sour grapes is it ?


quite clear you have no idea what MS is like i suggest you go and tlak to someone who lives with it.youo might look well and be able to walk but your bladder may ot owrk or you bowels don’t owrk corect and you may be complety knaccker one day and finew the next.you may shake

Sour grapes

That’s right love – probably the same stuff which comes out of your mouth

A. L.

I have observed the Brits do this ‘wheelchair’ thing with 3 different swimmers now, this one, a retired S8 gold medalist London 2012 and lastly a multiple gold medalist from World Championships 2015. If they change this classification they ought to also look at the S9 who just so happened to miss GB para trials but was selected for Rio. The Aussies are also at it at this meet with an S4 who’s only been swimming for a year but is just off World Record pace. Ridiculous. So whilst we are talking reclassifications before Rio. All this plus the notorious Aussie S8 pair from World Championships 2015 does not bode well for a fair, exciting, challenging nor successful swimming competition… Read more »

Visibly crippled

Check out Kadeena Cox – Paralympic sprinter and cyclist she has MS and needs a wheelchair after racing but not before and quite good at walking unassisted funnily enough. No wonder you’re confuzzled – you know nothing about MS like most people on this discussion who have never met an MS sufferer

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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