Team Sunrise
Teresa Perales

Teresa Perales

Swimming

Their Journey

"Dare to win - and to fight every day to become that little bit better."

Teresa Perales
Photo Credit: Aisaphoto

Born on the 29th December 1975, Teresa Perales Fernandez enjoyed practicing Karate in her youth, but had never participated in swimming before a neurological disease affected her lower extremities at the age of 19.

But it was during a summer vacation where Terersa first started to familarise herself with the sport of swimming - "The water provided me with the freedom that sometimes you can lose through a disability. The best thing about swimming is that almost anyone can practice it. It also helps you to float and breathe in a co-ordinated manner. From the very beginning I realised I was quite good at it". Upon returning home, Teresa decided to join a swimming club. Catching the attention of one of the coaches, he considered Teresa's ability as a 'rough diamond that we need to polish' - and so her professional training began.

"When I started, I didn't have any idea what to do, much less without my mobility or feeling in my legs. But gradually, almost from the beginning, I noticed that I was good in the water. I tried doing a lap and noticed the time I achieved it in was very fast. I was then really lucky to fall into the hands of a great coach - and together we achieved great goals".

Attending her first World Championships in Spain, Teresa's immediately took to the competition aspect of the sport, "The competition, the versatility of the challenges and the atmosphere amongst the athletes - that's what I love the most. Plus the feeling of floating, trying to dominate a medium that's not natural for humans to be in". With numerous wins at the World, European and Paralympic Championships since - and setting 5 world records in the process - Teresa hasn't looked back since. "I always go into competitions with a lot of ambition. I want to win all the events that I participate in. I like to dream big and believe anything is possible".

With a degree in Physiotherapy, Teresa also enjoys encouraging the next generation of disabled athletes through motivational speaking and seminars - "Swimming is an excellent way of teaching values. I've always participated in sport, even before my injury. It's strengthened me a lot as a person and helped me to understand the difference between losing and winning. Losing is not daring to give up, whilst not momentarily getting what you're pursuing. But it's also taught me to dare to win - and to fight every day to become that little bit better. Anything is possible when you commit to seriously achieving it".

Teresa Perales , Swimming
QUICKIE Helium Active Wheelchair
Teresa Perales

Teresa Perales Uses...

QUICKIE Helium Active Wheelchair

"My QUICKIE Helium Pro is also fitted with a J3 Carbon Back support and JAY Xtreme Active cushion. It's extremely lightweight, maneuverable and also very tough!! It's very aesthetically appealing too."
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When training or competing, Teresa Perales uses the QUICKIE Attitude Hybrid Hand Bike

"I love the fact that I can attach the QUICKIE Attitude Hybrid handbike to my wheelchair with just a small accessory. I use it mainly for cardio - it's complimentary to my pool training. It has a lot of autonomy."
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Teresa Perales
Teresa Perales

Road to Glory

2016

Paralympic Games (Rio)

Gold - 50m Backstroke
Silver - 200m Freestyle Swimming
Silver - 100m Freestyle
Silver - Individual Medley
4th Place - 50m Freestyle
5th Place - 50m Butterfly

2012

2012 Paralympic Games

Silver - 50 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 200 m Individual Medley SM5
Silver - 200 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 100 m Breaststroke SB4
Silver - 50 m Butterfly S5
Gold - 100 m Freestyle S5

2008

2008 Paralympic Games

Gold - 50 m Freestyle S5
Gold - 100 m Freestyle S5
Gold - 200 m Freestyle S5
Silver - 50 m Backstroke S5
Bronze - 100 m Breaststroke SB4

2006

2006 World Championships

Bronze - 50 m Backstroke S5
Bronze - 50 m Backstroke S5
Silver - 50 m Butterfly S5

2004

2004 Paralympic Games

Bronze - 50 m Freestyle S5
Gold - 100 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 50 m Backstroke S5
Bronze - 100 m Breaststroke SB4
Gold - 50 m Butterfly S5
Silver - 4 x 50 m Medley Relay 20 Points

2002

2002 World Championships

Silver - 50 m Freestyle S5
Silver - 100 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 200 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 50 m Backstroke S5
Silver - 100 m Breaststroke SB4
Silver - 50 m Butterfly S5
Silver - 200 m Individual Medley SM5

2000

2000 Paralympic Games

Bronze - 50 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 100 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 200 m Freestyle S5
Bronze - 50 m Backstroke S5
Silver - 50 m Butterfly S5

1998

1998 World Championships

Bronze - 50 m Freestyle S6