Lizzi Smith

The Backstory:

Lizzi Smith was born with no left forearm which was caused by amniotic band syndrome, but she didn’t let this stop her. At age seven she joined her first swim team and while it was smooth sailing at first, just a few years later she began to swim competitively. Smith has competed at multiple World Championships and has earned 6 World Championship medals total. She made her Paralympic Games debut at the 2016 games in Rio where she went home with a silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and a bronze in the 4x100m medley relay. Smith is no stranger to taking time off between competitions, so she is poised and ready to get back in the pool at the Tokyo Games.  

Away from swimming:
Smith has creative passions she pursues when she isn’t in the pool or coaching swim teams. She works as a freelance graphic designer and in the future plans to put more focus on that aspect of her life.  

In their own words:
“Inclusion to me is like a swim meet. I show up on race day with my meticulously rehearsed race plan, a lane, and a goal. My competitors share the same goal – to be faster than they were yesterday. They don’t know, care, or notice that I have a disability. I am my ability. All I need is the opportunity to see how fast I can go.”  

“Fifteen minutes into my first practice, I quit. The following season my parents bribed me with pizza to give it another shot. I’ve been swimming ever since.” 

“A fear that I’ve had ever since I can remember is that I make people uncomfortable with my limb difference. Countless times I’ve hid my body for people. I’m changing the narrative. Your stares and negative reactions make me uncomfortable. I’ll work as hard as I can to do my part to make sure no more little kids see their limb difference represented through media as horror.”  

Learn More:
IPC Page
MySwimPro | #AskASwimPro Show
: “Lizzi Smith, Team USA Paralympic Medalist”
Statesman: “Paralympian Lizzi Smith Finds Herself In One-Hundredth Of A Second”
The Race Club: “The Correct Swim Pulling Motion with Lizzi Smith”


Paralympian 2016|

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  • Sport: Swimming
  • Limb Difference: 
  • DOB: 6/26/96
  • Residence: Austin, TX
  • College: N/A
  • Previous Games: 2016|
  • Classification: S9/SB9/SM9