Del Mar’s Roy Perkins, Jr. to swim for Gold in London

Del Mar’s Roy Perkins, Jr. has been nominated to represent the United States in swimming at the 2012 London Paralympics. Perkins won Gold (S5 50-meter butterfly) and Bronze (S5 100-meter freestyle) medals at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.

Born without hands or feet, Perkins is a junior at Stanford University, majoring in Earth systems. He is at home training with long-time coach Don Watkinds and the Wave House swim team while he continues final preparations prior to Team USA’s departure on Aug. 15.

“I was confident Roy would make the Paralympic Team,” said Watkinds. “Through his hard work and determination, he has made himself one of the top swimmers in the world. He works hard, listens well, and doesn’t let adversity get in his way. He is still improving as attested by his American record and ‘Swimmer of the Meet’ award at the trials. He returned from the trials after midnight, but was at practice preparing for London the same day. He’s determined to succeed.”

Perkins first learned to swim when he was 12 years old and broke numerous American records in his first “official” Paralympic meet at age 14. Perkins is now the American record holder for every stroke and distance in the S5 class. He has been a fixture on the U.S. Paralympics National Team for the past eight years. Besides his success at the Beijing Paralympics, Perkins also won Gold and Bronze medals at the IPC World Swimming Championships held in Durban, South Africa in 2006, and four medals (three silver, one bronze) at the most recent World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands in 2010.

In London, Perkins will compete in the S5 50-meter, 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle events ; in the S5 50-meter backstroke; and will defend his gold medal in the S5 50- meter butterfly.

The Paralympics is the world’s second largest sporting event, with more than 4,200 participating athletes competing in 20 sports. The Games are contested two weeks after the Olympics in the very same venues that hosted the Olympic competition.