Natalie Sims

The backstory:

Born without her right hand, Natalie took up competitive swimming in middle school. She progressed from a YWCA team to the Team USA Emerging Swim Team. A late addition to Team USA in 2016, she competed at her first Paralympics in Rio in the 400m freestyle. At the following year’s World Championships she won five medals (two relay, three individual). She’s coming off a four-medal performance in the 2019 Parapan American Games, including a gold in the 100 meter freestyle. Natalie swims collegiately for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Away from the pool:
Natalie lists both skydiving and bungee jumping as bucket-list items.

In her own words:
“Don’t let your disability define who you are. If you want to chase your dream, there is nothing standing in your way except yourself. It’s going to be hard, grueling work but the reward is knowing you gave it your all. Just because you have a disability, that shouldn’t limit what you love to do. Let that motivate you and inspire others.”

Learn more:
Team USA
KARE: “Edina Swimmer Ready for Rio”
UW La Crosse: “Swimmer Brings Home Four Medals”
YWCA: “Chasing My Dreams”


Paralympian 2016|

8th 🏅


  • Name: Natalie Sims
  • Sport:
  • Limb Difference: Upper
  • DOB: 6/6/97
  • Residence: Edina, MN
  • College: U. of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • Previous Games: 2016|
  • Classification: S9/SB9/SM9