Natalie Sims (C) and Hannah Aspden (R) pose for a photo with their medals at the 2019 Parapan American Games on Aug. 30, 2019 in Lima, Peru.
LIMA, Peru – Highlighted by her first individual gold medal at the Parapan American Games Lima 2019, Natalie Sims (Edina, Minnesota) led Team USA to five medals on the penultimate day of swimming competition at the Aquatic Center in Lima.
Top highlights from the pool
Sims Strikes Gold - Sims swam to her first individual gold on Friday, finishing the women’s 100-meter freestyle in a time of 1:06.05 to claim the top podium spot. Sims previously earned two bronze medals in her Parapan American races, with her gold tonight marking her third medal in Lima.
No Sign of Slowing Down - Haven Shepherd (Carthage, Missouri) picked up a bronze medal Friday morning in the women’s 200 individual medley SM8 to go along with a silver medal from Thursday. Friday’s bronze marks Shepherd’s third medal at her first Parapan American Games.
Smith With The Silver - Liam Smith (Rockford, Michigan) will take home an impressive amount of hardware from his Parapan American Games debut, earning silver in the men’s 100 breaststroke SB7 to go along with his previous three bronze medals in Lima. The 16-year-old will race again Saturday in the men’s 200 IM SM7.
Team USA Results
5 medals (1 gold, 2 silvers, 2 bronzes)
Gold (1): Natalie Sims (Edina, Minn.), women’s 100m freestyle S9 (1:06.05)
Silver (2): Alyssa Gialamas (Naperville, Ill.), women’s 200m freestyle S5 (S3-S4) (3:28.68); Liam Smith (Rockford, Mich.), men’s 100m breaststroke SB7 (1:26.16)
Bronze (2): Haven Shepherd (Carthage, Mo.), women’s 50m freestyle S8 (35.58); Hannah Aspden (Raleigh, N.C.), women’s 100m freestyle S9 (1:06.76)
“My time was a little slower than what I swam this morning, but I'll take it. I went out a little fast but came back as hard as I could, and having two other U.S. athletes in my race definitely helped me push through and keep going. Just being able to get on the podium for my country is such a huge honor and privilege. As long as I get to see my flag get raised, it's all worth it in the end. It’s really exciting to win my first individual gold at a Parapan American Games. I'm very proud of that and Tokyo is the next chapter that I'll be training for.”
“Today’s race felt really good. The last three days have been my main races that I’ve been preparing for. I’ve been putting the work in during practice and the results are showing, so it’s really great. It’s amazing to represent Team USA here. This is what I’ve dreamed about for years and to see myself actually here is really cool.”
What To Watch
American swimmers will have one final opportunity to race on Saturday, marking the final day of competition. Carson Sanocki (Charlotte, North Carolina) will seek his fourth Parapan American medal as he takes on the men’s 200 IM SM13, as McClain Hermes (Dacula, Georgia) is slated to compete in the women’s 100 breast SB11 after having earned two medals thus far in Lima. Zach Shattuck (Mt. Airy, Maryland) will swim his final event, the men’s 200 IM SM6/SM5, in hopes of claiming his fourth medal as competition comes to a close.
Coverage of the 2019 U.S. Parapan American Team can be found at TeamUSA.org/Parapan2019. Visit TeamUSA.org/USADaily to sign up to receive the USA Daily, a digital news blast that provides Team USA results and highlights each night via email during the Games. Livestream of the Parapan American Games Lima 2019 is also available on TeamUSA.org/Live.