Paralympian Deb Gruen has flown under the radar of the international swimming scene since winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games as a 16-year-old, but not because she couldn't cut it in the pool. She set two world records at the 2006 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships and was selected to represent the U.S. at the IPC Swimming World Championships, but declined the invitation due to academic obligations at Yale University. Considered a medal threat entering the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, Gruen won bronze in the 100m breaststroke SB6.

Gruen has been swimming since the age of five and has been competing at the national level since 1999. She was valedictorian of her high school class and began her coursework at Yale in the fall of 2006, where she maintained a heavy concentration in economics and mathematics. Her 2008-2009 academic year was spent at Beijing University where Gruen studied Chinese.

Major Achievements:

  • 2009: World record in the 400 m IM, Spring Can-Am Championships in Portland, Oregon
  • 2009: Silver medal- 100 m breaststroke, BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, England
  • 2008: Bronze medal, 100m Breaststroke SB6 - Paralympic Games, Beijing, China
  • 2007: World record, 800m freestyle - Can-Am Championships, Montreal, Quebec
  • 2006: Named to U.S. Paralympics Swimming World Championship Team
  • 2006: Two world records, 200m breaststroke, 1500m freestyle - U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2004: Bronze medal, 100m breaststroke - Paralympic Games, Athens, Greece