McKenzie Coan, Who Won 3 World Titles in 2022, Withdraws from 2023 Championships

American swimmer McKenzie Coan, a four-time Paralympic gold medalist and nine-time World Champion, has withdrawn from next week’s Para Swimming World Championships in Manchester England.

“After a tough couple of weeks, plagued by illness, I’ve made the difficult decision to medically withdraw from World Championships,” Coan said.

In the statement, posted on her social media, Coan said she was dealing with a bad respiratory and ear infection, and eventually wound up with the ER and was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy – causing temporary facial paralysis.

Besides the obvious health ramifications, she’s had to relearn how to breathe in her strokes “with only one working side of (her) face.”

As a result of those complications, she says that she is now focused on “being 100% for 2024 in hopes of qualifying for the Paris Games.”

Coan’s Full Statement:

Coan, 27, represented the US at the 2016 and 2020(1) Paralympic Games. In 2016, she won gold medals in the 50 free, 100 free, and 400 free in the S7 class, and she repeated as the Paralympic champion in the 400 free at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

She also won a silver medal on the 400 free relay (34 points) in 2016 and individually in the 100 free at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

She also has 15 World Championship medals, all but two of which came in freestyle events. Last year, in Madeira, she won World Championships in the 50, 100, and 400 frees in the S7 category.

Coan was part of 22 Americans named to the 2023 Para Swimming World Championships roster for team USA.

The 2023 meet runs from July 31 – August 6 in Manchester, England.


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7 months ago

McKenzie you are a champion! Take care of yourself and you will always come back stronger

7 months ago

Oh that’s awful. I hope she recovers well

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Braden Keith

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