U.S. Paralympics

U.S. Paralympics

Top 13 of 2013: Ian Silverman breaks 33-year-old world record

By Jamie M. Blanchard | Dec. 19, 2013, 10 a.m. (ET)
Ian Silverman
After breaking world records in April, Ian Silverman went on to win a world title in August. 

It was a thrilling year for the Paralympic Movement in the United States and around the globe. Records were broken and legacies were made. From Dec. 18-30, USParalympics.org will unveil the Top 13 moments of 2013 for U.S. Paralympics in chronological order.

The previous world record for the men’s 1500-meter freestyle (S10) was set in 1980.

It happened 15 years before swimmer Ian Silverman was born on Nov. 15, 1995.

It happened 33 years before Silverman sprung off the starting block and into the water on the opening day of the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming Nationals (2013 Can-Am meet) in Minneapolis.

Ian Silverman file

Name: Ian Jaryd Silverman

Sport: Swimming

Height: 6 feet 2 inches

Weight: 165 pounds

Residence: Baltimore, Md.

Paralympic Experience:
2012 Paralympic Games, gold (400m freestyle), 6th (50m freestyle), 7th (200m IM, 100m freestyle), 8th (100m butterfly)

On April 4, Silverman, then a high school junior from the Baltimore area, shattered that 1,500m world record with a time of 16:24.63. It was one of two world records he broke at the meet.

"My coach and I decided to go for the record in the 1500m," Silverman said after the race. "I was able to execute my race strategy and pace throughout the race to get my first world record. After the 1500 prelim this morning, I swam a bunch of 100s to prepare for tonight, and it paid off with a win in the 100m free. I'm looking forward to the 400 free on Saturday and going for the 800 free world record tomorrow."

He finished the 800 free with a time of 8:35.69, another world record in the S10 classification.

Silverman finished the qualification meet for the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Quebec, with six event titles. For his accomplishments, he was named the IPC Athlete of the Month for April 2013and the runner-up for United States Olympic Committee’s Male Athlete of the Month.

In August, he won one gold medal, one silver medal and two bronze medals at the world championships.

Silverman, who has mild cerebral palsy, a condition that affects movement, competes in the most physically able classes in Paralympic swimming. After holding his own against able-bodied swimmers his entire life, Silverman discovered he was eligible to compete at the Paralympic Games just in time to make a bid for the 2011-12 season.

He went on to qualify for five events at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, winning the 400m title.

Although the Paralympic Games only includes races up to 400 meters, Silverman is quickly becoming a force in distance races, against able-bodied and disabled swimmers alike. He placed 36th in the men’s 1500m free at the able-bodied junior national championships.

In October, Silverman verbally committed to the University of Southern California, a decorated NCAA Division I program in the Pacific 12 Conference.  

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