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.

108
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

108 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sour grapes
6 years ago

Doesn’t this sound like a lot of sour grapes? Unlucky to long or is it lucky ? If she was classified s8 before then maybe no 12 year old gold medalist ????

Visibly crippled
Reply to  Sour grapes
6 years ago

The Yanks have had it all their own way for years in S8 now they don’t like it because all of a sudden their medals are threatened by some serious competition. If Millward was being reclassified from S10 to S9 this discussion wouldn’t have even been started by Long.

Sour grapes
6 years ago

Lots of sour grapes on here! Be some pretty unhappy –
American faces when Millward wins in – this is one brit looking forward to it !

Emily
6 years ago

Australia’s S4 Rachael Watson does deserve to be at the 2016 Rio Paralympics but only if she swims freestyle. That’s all she is good at. In my opinion, she wasn’t classified too early. She was classified on the fact that she hasn’t been able to use her legs in the last 2 years and that the rest of her body is affected by the GBS. If she swims anything else though, she is simply an embarrassment to her other competitors. Leave the other races for them, Trimi and Nelly can have those wins. Guillain Barre Syndrome isn’t common and it’s even more rare to hear of someone with CP and GBS. Interesting. Would like to know how it will affect… Read more »

emily
6 years ago

really?

Mark
6 years ago

You can’t believe it !!! Try watching it from our part of the world !!!
It is the biggest kick in the teeth going !!!
I have seen a girl use a wheelchair for her classification yet not once did she have her wheelchair during BPISM 2016!!!
Classification is a joke

Visibly crippled
Reply to  Mark
6 years ago

There are cheats everywhere in all walks of life and there always will be but that doesn’t mean we are all cheats. You’re all obviously not fooled by the cheats so I presume you must all be highly qualified medical professionals unlike those who carried out the tests. A degenerative illness means that it gets worse. If an amputee lost another limb would that not justify reclassification? Ah yes of course because you can see that.

Mark
Reply to  Visibly crippled
6 years ago

Try staying in the same hotel as these swimmers !!! Amazing how no signs of limps, shakes or wheelchairs until they get poolside !!!!
And as a father of a young amputee who was put from S8 to S9 for being 1.5mm to long in her long stump !!! And told she will just have to work harder to compete in that class when people with 4 working limbs walk by as S7 or S8 their is something wrong with the system !!!
As for highly qualified medical staff the two who did my daughter were a joke !!!
The doctor was an expert in erectile disfunction in POWs from Israel !!!!
Not amputees

fiona
6 years ago

I don’t believe that it’s the athletes themselves that are being targeted in the most part. It is the classification systems used that are being discussed and unfortunately it is necessary to reference athletes to illustrate the inconsistencies, nuances and most importantly that it is ability not disability that is being classified.

If classification became more athlete centred and the NPCs stopped playing games and if the IPC toughened up on IM then the sport would be much much better for it.

Confuzzled
Reply to  fiona
6 years ago

Are you for real Fiona? Saying it’s not the athletes being targeted ? Is it not you further up the posts commenting negatively towards a few athletes?

fiona
Reply to  Confuzzled
6 years ago

Confuzzled, I disagreed with your interpretation of Maddison Elliotts true swimming ability and her honesty during classification if that is what you mean.

I did say in the most part.

Australian Swimmer Maddison Elliotts IM was blatant. She should be ashamed of herself as should the IPC and the classifiers concerned, GBs Craig Nicholson was chief classifier if I recall correctly.

Elliotts IM set a precedent, brought great shame to the sport of para swimming and now more and more athletes are deceiving the classifiers during classification because they know they will get away with it. A select few therefor are ruining the sport for everyone by their selfishness and dishonesty when presenting for classification.

Andy
6 years ago

Do any of you any idea how degenerative a disability like MS actually is, having a go at Stephanie Millward sneakily on this website, behind the anonymous veil of this forum!
maybe because she may now beat one of the swimmers you guys support says more about what’s wrong with you guys and your attitude to para – swimming in general and less about the re classification system.
I see that the US swimmers Silverman and coan are hoping for a positive re classification this week according to your website – you have not mentioned them and how that would effect swimmers from other nations have you ? Conveniently.
Questioning why Stephanie sometimes is in a wheelchair… Read more »

Swim fan
Reply to  Andy
6 years ago

We aren’t implying that Stephanie Millward is faking MS, the comments are all just suggesting that she can swim much faster than she did in Berlin during her classification. It’s not unusual for swimmers to swim slower to get put in a lower class…(Maddison Elliot, Tully Kearney etc.) I’m sure no one doubts how MS affects people, including Steph, but we are more outraged at the fact that she is clearly able to swim much faster than she did in Berlin, shown at the Europeans and at Paralympic Trails. It seems to myself and others that she TRIED to swim slower, we cannot prove this but we can find evidence to support our views, nobody would call her out for… Read more »

andrew
Reply to  Swim fan
6 years ago

Thankyou for your eloquent and articulate comments Andy.
Firstly if you were to ask any experienced or semi experienced equestrian about the art of horse riding, they would all tell you that it is the seat and legs that are all important in balance and controlling the horse. I do believe most of us are actually familiar with the fact that the rider sits on the horse, thankyou.
Secondly most of us are also aware that MS runs a fluctuating course. The whole idea of classification is to demonstrate best ability, not worst disability. The suggestion is that Stephanie swam much slower than normal in an attempt to demonstrate the latter, not the former. The appearance in the… Read more »

Frustrated Fan
Reply to  Andy
6 years ago

Totally agree with you Andrew and Swim Fan. MS shouldn’t be classfiable due to it fluatating nature. As it can be degenerative as you say Andy why wasn’t she on constant review status when originally classified instead of confirmed status?

You can research conditions like MS, CP, GBS etc etc all you like and have all the info leaflets and knowledge but everyone is not the same and having that condition doesn’t necessarily mean because it says in the research they will have a weak arm for example that they actually do!!

Every para athlete has their own daily challenges to overcome that their disability throws at them everyday. That in itself before trying to swim is hard… Read more »

Frustrated Fan
Reply to  Andy
6 years ago

Totally agree with you Andrew and Swim Fan. MS shouldn’t be classfiable due to it fluatating nature. As it can be degenerative as you say Andy why wasn’t she on constant review status when originally classified instead of confirmed status?

You can research conditions like MS, CP, GBS etc etc all you like and have all the info leaflets and knowledge but everyone is not the same and having that condition doesn’t necessarily mean because it says in the research they will have a weak arm for example that they actually do!!

Every para athlete has their own daily challenges to overcome that their disability throws at them everyday. That in itself before trying to swim is hard… Read more »

Ex athlete
6 years ago

From previously being an international para swimmer, I’ve seen the inconsistency of the classifiers first hand. It seems with enough pressure they will give in. I know for a fact that a certain male s9 swimmer pressured the classifiers with legal action. He got the 9 classification and is now in the gb team for Rio in my view he is completely undeserving as he is able to use all four limbs without hindrance. If the pressure from an individual can effect things, who knows how much influence the NPCs have. The IPC needs a complete upheaval of the system to prevent it from taking away from the great strides that the Paralympic movement has made.

Sonny
Reply to  Ex athlete
6 years ago

wow! It’s obviously completely out of control. I have always wondered about NPCs influencing the outcomes with the classifiers, but not athletes – other than hamming it up during testing. Another reason to employ neurologists. How very sad this is for the athletes and the sport.

I think the IPC themselves need a complete upheaval, not just their systems.

Rio is ruined.

Utter Disgrace
Reply to  Ex athlete
6 years ago

Same goes to show with Stephanie Millward! Asked to be re-classified (surely if MS is seen as variable it should be deemed unclassifiable?) went to Croatia to some little meet in January, no live coverage etc but stayed as an S9 dispite MI even after a protest she still stayed as an S9!! Protested to be reviewed yet again this year! Swims at her trials and qualifies as a S9 then goes straight to European champs and walks away with Golds,sliver and bronzes!! (All on YouTube to watch) Then off she goes to Berlin 4 weeks later clearly shows MI for the whole world to see (just YouTube it!!) and surprise surprise she comes out as an S8!! Job done!!… Read more »

disgraceful&corrupt
Reply to  Ex athlete
6 years ago

Tully Kearney IPC World Championships

Montreal 2013 S10
400 free 3rd
200IM 12th
100 free 9th
100 fly 9th
100 backstroke 8th

Glasgow 2015 (S9)
400 freestyle 1st 4:39.29 (by 10 secs)
200IM 1st 2:31.08 by (by 9 seconds
100 backstroke 2nd
100 freestyle 5th
100 fly 1st
4×100 medley relay 1st
4×100 medley relay 3rd

To be sure, I just watched Kearneys 200IM and 400 free from Glasgow. She has a propulsive kick in all 4 strokes. Granted there is no competition in this class anymore bar Cole in a reduced program.

It isn’t just the athletes who are cheating. The whole system appears to… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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, …

Read More »