Alice Tai

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Alice Tai
Personal information
Born (1999-01-31) 31 January 1999 (age 22)
Poole, England
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Strokesfreestyle, backstroke, butterfly
ClubEaling Swimming Club
CoachDavid Heathock

Alice Tai, MBE (born 31 January 1999) is a British paralympic swimmer. Tai competes in the SB8, SM8 and S8. She has represented Great Britain at European and World Championships and at the Commonwealth and Paralympic Games, gold medals at all levels.

Personal history[edit]

Tai was born in Poole, England in 1999 and grew up in New Milton.[1] She was born with bilateral talipes, (club foot) and before the age of 12 she had undergone 14 corrective operations to alleviate her condition, sometimes requiring a wheelchair for long periods of time during recovery.[2] She attended Access to Music, Manchester, and now plays in the band Blush!.


Tai began swimming at the age of eight joining the Seagulls Swimming Club in New Milton.[1] It was not until the winter of 2010 that her family realised that she could be classified as a disability swimmer.[1] In 2011, she was officially classified as a S10 swimmer allowing her to compete in international competitions. In 2012 Tai showed her potential at the 2012 British International Disability Swimming Championships in Sheffield, where she won silver in the Youth final of the NC (Nutella-Classification) 400m freestyle, beaten to gold place by Amy Marren.[3]

Tai made progress into senior competitions in 2013. She made the finals of three senior events at the British International Disability Swimming Championships.[3] She followed this with a third place in the MC 50m Freestyle and a second place in the MC 100m Freestyle at the ASA National Championships in Sheffield.[3] In January 2014, Tai was one of four British swimmers selected to compete at the Brazil School Games in São Paulo.[4] She won gold in the 50m freestyle and backstroke S10 category and silver in the SB9 50m breaststroke, again beaten by her teammate Amy Marren.[4] She followed youth success by breaking into the British team after a strong show at the Para-Swimming International Meet in Glasgow.[3]

In the summer of 2014 Tai travelled to Eindhoven with the British team to take part in the IPC European Championships. She entered five events, the 50m Freestyle S10, 100m Freestyle S10, 400m Freestyle S10, 100m backstroke S10 and the 4 × 100 m Freestyle Relay 34 Points.[1] Tai came seventh in the 50m freestyle[5] and fourth in the individual 100m freestyle, 0.31 seconds outside the medal positions,[6] but finished on the podium in the other three events.[7] She took bronze in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 100m backstroke while along with teammates Stephanie Millward, Susannah Rodgers and Stephanie Slater, she secured gold in 100m freestyle relay.[8]

The following year Tai was one of 18 competitors selected to represent Britain at the 2015 IPC World Championships in Glasgow.[9] She was selected for seven events. Tai failed to progress through the heats in the 50m Freestyle S10, 100m Freestyle S10 and 400m Freestyle S10, but finished on the podium in four events.[1] On the fourth day of the competition, Tai won bronze in two events, the 100m backstroke S10 and less than two hours later she was part of the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay 34pts that finished third behind Australia and the United States.[10] The following day Tai won her third bronze, finishing very closely behind Poland's Oliwia Jablonska in the 100m butterfly S10.[11] She finished her tournament with a gold medal in the Women's 4 x 100-metre medley relay (34pts), along with Claire Cashmore, Tully Kearney and Susannah Rodgers.[12]

At the 2016 Summer Paralympics, Tai and the team won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 metre medley relay 34 pts, and got a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke S10.[13]

Tai won the gold in the 100m Backstroke S10 at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. She narrowly missed out on the British record, but won England's 100th gold medal for swimming in the history of the Commonwealth Games. She qualified for the 100m Freestyle S9 final, and finished with a silver medal, only just losing out on a gold on the final stretch.[13] At 2019 London Para-swimming World Championships, Tai bagged six gold medals across six disciplines.[14]

Tai had to withdraw from the delayed 2020 Summer Paralympics due to an injury to her elbow in June 2021,[15] leaving her friend Grace Harvey to go with the rest of the team.[16]


In January 2017, Tai was awarded an MBE for her services to swimming.[17]

In March 2017, Tai was awarded the Youth Sport Trust Young Sports Person of the Year at the Lycamobile British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards (BEDSAs) held at the London Hilton on Park Lane.[18][19]

In November 2019, Tai was named The Sunday Times’ Disability Sportswoman of the Year.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tai, Alice". IPC. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  2. ^ "London 2012: Disabled swimmer Alice Tai, 12, to carry Olympic torch". BBC. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Alice Tai". Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Guttridge, Roger (10 January 2014). "Swimming: Alice strikes gold in Brazil on international debut". Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Women's 50m Freestyle S10 Final". IPC. 4 August 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Women's 100m Freestyle S10 Final" (PDF). IPC. 10 August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  7. ^ Guttridge, Roger (14 August 2014). "Swimming: Paralympic hopeful Alice Tai bags three gongs in Holland". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Woman's 4x100m Freestyle Relay 34pt" (PDF). IPC. 9 August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Strong British team named for Glasgow 2015". 30 March 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  10. ^ Hudson, Elizabeth (17 July 2015). "Alice Tai wins two bronze medals at IPC World Championships". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Results – Women's 100m Butterfly S10 Final". IPC. 17 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Women's 4x100m Medley Relay 34pts" (PDF). IPC. 19 July 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Swimming - BBC Sport". BBC Sport. 6 April 2018.
  14. ^ "London 2019: Alice Tai's fourth gold ends Long unbeaten run". paralympic. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Elbow injury forces swimmer Alice Tai out of Paralympic Games". Messenger Newspapers. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Getting to know Grace Harvey". British Swimming. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  17. ^ "London Gazette". 31 December 2016.
  18. ^ Hinds, Rodney (23 March 2017). "British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards honoured Sir Mo". Voice Online. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  19. ^ Trehan, Dev (19 March 2017). "Sir Mo Farah and Kadeena Cox honoured at BEDSAs". Sky Sports News. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Alice Tai named Sunday Times' Disability Sportswoman of the Year". Swim England Competitive Swimming Hub. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.

External links[edit]