The Official Student News Source of HSEHS


The Official Student News Source of HSEHS


The Official Student News Source of HSEHS


HSE Para-Swimmer

Aiden Stivers recently competed in international competition as a para-athlete and tunes up for big meets coming up

Sophomore, Aiden Stivers, is going into his second year as a member of the HSE Swim and Dive team. Outside of the high school team and the Southeastern Swim Club, Stivers competes as a para athlete for U.S. Para-Swimming.


Stivers has the disability of amniotic band syndrome. Despite dealing with this all of his life, Stivers has been able to compete at a high level in the sport of swimming.


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In early 2022, the head coach from the Franklin Regional Swim Team, Coach Dalton, approached Stivers with the idea of becoming a para-swimmer. Dalton himself was a former Paralympic swimmer with an amputated leg. Stivers was intrigued by this opportunity, so he ultimately decided to give it a try.


“This program just provides inclusivity for disabled swimmers,” Stivers said. “From having no legs, to being blind, any swimmer with a disability has a chance to compete in this program.”


These meets are set up similar to how any normal meet would run, except for athletes are separated into events by their disability. This allows the athletes to compete with athletes of the same background at a very high level internationally.


Stivers has competed in multiple meets under U.S. Para-Swimming over the past two years. Stivers has also been able to work with coaches at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.


Since joining the program, Stivers has competed very well, including placing second in the 200 breaststroke at the U.S. Para-Swim Nationals this past year. Stivers was also formerly the American record holder in his division of that event.


Most recently, Stivers competed in Vancouver at the Ken Demchuk International Invitational.


At this meet, Stivers competed in the 400m freestyle and the 100m backstroke. While these events are not Stivers’ strongest, he still competed well in a highly competitive meet where he advanced to the finals in both.


When asked about these competitions, Stivers spoke very highly of how they have improved him as a swimmer and a person.


“They have helped give me more self-esteem, which has helped greatly in the water,” Stivers said. “I feel I am more respectful towards individuals with special needs [and] I have gained great social skills in general.”


Coming up, Stivers is tuning up to swim a large lineup of events at the U.S. Para Nationals in two weeks, all preparing for the U.S. Paralympic Trials next summer.


“My main goal is to swim the 200 breaststroke and get back the American record I recently lost,” Stivers said. “I [also] now have the chance to compete in the Paralympic Trials next year, and hopefully [in] Paris 2024.”


As Stivers prepares for these big meets in the next calendar year, he will still be competing for the HSE high school team. Don’t miss Stivers and his teammate for their next home meet on Saturday, December 16th.

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