Great Britain’s Alice Tai Withdraws From Tokyo Paralympics Due to Elbow Injury

Seven-time Para-Swimming World Champion Alice Tai of Great Britain has decided to withdraw from the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics due to an elbow injury that requires a full recovery after consultation with her doctor. The Poole native was part of the Paralympic title-winning women’s 34 points 4x100m medley relay at the 2016 Paralympics as well as a seven-time gold medal winner at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships. Tai swam in the S10 category since her international debut in 2014 before reclassifying to the S8 category for the 2018 European Para Championships 2019 World Para Championships.

Tai first attempted a return to competitive swimming in April 2021 at the British Para-Swimming International Meet. Despite her withdrawal from this upcoming Paralympics, Tai will have an opportunity to race at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, GBR and at the next World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, POR.

Tai will continue to receive support from various British Para-Swimming staff members, annotating,

“Competing at Tokyo 2020 has been my main goal for the last five years, so it’s devastating that I’ll be missing the Games later this year. The decision to withdraw was extremely difficult to accept but my health is ultimately more important than competing. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with an incredible core team who exhausted all conservative treatments to keep me in the pool; it’s comforting to know there was nothing more that could’ve been done. Even if I’m not racing myself, I’ll still be watching the Games and cheering everyone on from home so best of luck to you guys!”

Tai went to social media earlier today to make her announcement via subtitled video and wishing “thank you” to her supporters in the post caption.

  • View the original British Swimming press release here.

Tai via Instagram:

“I’m withdrawing from Tokyo 2020.

This has been a really though reality to come to terms with but the support from those around me has been incredible.

Firstly, thank you to my partners @toyota@citi@speedo@papajohnsuk@upandgoeu and @radleylondon for continuing to support me despite these circumstances. I’m so humbled and proud that I’ll have more opportunities to work with you all in the future, and I’m equally as excited to share my future achievements with you guys. 🙏🏼💪🏼

Secondly, thank you to @britishswimming and @paralympicsgb_official for putting my health first without question.

And lastly, thank you support staff at @britishswimming and @eis2win (Manchester) for your support, guidance and advice. You’ve put up with me throughout this craziness and managed to keep me sane and smiling along the way- thank you. ❤️”

Tai via Twitter:

“I’m withdrawing from @Tokyo2020 (see video)

Thanks to staff at @britishswimming  @eis2win @ParalympicsGB for your help, guidance and advice🙏🏼 

Thanks also to my incredible partners @ToyotaUK @speedo @upandgoeu @Radley_London @PapaJohnsUK for your unwavering, continued support!❤️

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2 months ago

It’s heartbreaking to have an Olympian scratch because of injury, knowing that the opportunity to compete only comes around every few years. I guess the only silver lining is that for 2024 the wait will only be three instead of four years, but I’m sure after dealing with the postponement of the games last year it will still seem like an eternity. Wishing Alice Tai a speedy and full recovery.

Reply to  JVW
2 months ago

Paralympian, not Olympian.

Reply to  MissM
2 months ago

Technically yes. Thank you. However, the Paralympics are indeed included in the Olympic Spirit.

Reply to  MissM
2 months ago

Can you be nice? Jeesh

Miss M
Reply to  MNSwammer
2 months ago

Quite a few Australian Paralympians have specifically asked not to be called Olympians. Trying to honour that request.

Last edited 2 months ago by Miss M
Miss M
Reply to  MNSwammer
2 months ago

You have not at all understood the tone of my comment. Not a slight at all. Rightly respecting the achievements of para athletes in qualifying for the Paralympics. It’s an amazing feat.

Last edited 2 months ago by Miss M
Reply to  Miss M
2 months ago

I do have to side with Miss M here – Paralympian is the correct term. The relationship between the Paralympics and the Olympics is, essentially, financial. Many athletes have observed that to imply that the Paralympics need the Olympic umbrella to be deemed “worthy” is offensive to them.

2 months ago

I’m really sorry to hear she is injured and won’t swim at the Paralympics, but it does make for one less swimmer with a somewhat controversial classification!

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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