Following a busy weekend at the Para Swimming World Series, Indianapolis, Indiana, April 7-9, U.S. Paralympic Swimming nominated 25 athletes to represent Team USA at the 2022 Para Swimming World Championships in Madeira, Portugal.
“The Para Swimming World Series in Indianapolis served as the first major international competition post Tokyo for many of our athletes. The athletes named to the world championship roster stepped up, performed well and earned their ticket to Portugal,” Erin Popovich, director of U.S. Paralympics Swimming, said. “This is a team largely composed of veteran athletes who have raced on the world’s biggest stages, and we look to them to lead the way for the up-and-coming athletes making their world championship debut.”
Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Marks, a Para Swimming Soldier-athlete assigned to the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, was nominated to the World Championship team. During the recent World Series, she took four 1st place finishes and set a new American Record in the 50m butterfly (S6) with a time of :36.66.
“I’m incredibly fortunate to have a coach like Nathan Manley, who allows me to continue to learn and grow in different strokes,” said Marks. “I never feel locked into one specific race and it gives me the freedom to have fun while competing in the sport.”
A five-time Paralympic Medalist, and four-time World Record Holder, Marks also took first place in three other events: in the 100m freestyle, she finished with a time of 1:14.04; in the 50m freestyle with a time of :34.02, and in the 100m backstroke with a time of 1:24.20. All events were in the S6 category.
“I’m thankful for my military brothers and sisters who keep me engaged and motivated,” Marks said. “They show up in so many ways to push me to succeed and embrace the idea of success, whatever that may look like each day.”
Among many cheering on Marks from the stands was World Class Athlete Program First Sergeant, Alex Ramos.
“Sgt 1st Class Marks performance throughout the World Series was nothing short of amazing, Ramos explained. “She demonstrated her will to win and proved again why she is the most decorated Soldier-athlete in the program.”
The 2022 Para Swimming World Championships are set to run from June 12-18 at the Penteada Olympic Swimming Complex. The last Para swimming world championships, which took place in London in 2019, featured 637 athletes from 77 nations.