Erin Popovich

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Erin Popovich
Personal information
Nationality United States
Born (1985-06-29) June 29, 1985 (age 37)
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Height4 ft 4.75 in (1.34 m)[1]
Weight105 lb (48 kg)[1]

Erin Popovich (born June 29, 1985) is a three-time United States Paralympic swimmer. She has won 14 career Paralympic gold medals, and 19 total.

Personal life[edit]

Popovich was born with achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that restricted the growth of her limbs.[2] Her parents, a teacher and a physician, moved their family to Butte, Montana when Popovich was five.[3] During childhood, she wore braces to straighten her back and legs, and underwent about a dozen surgeries. But according to her mother, "we didn't have to make a lot of accommodations for her; we didn't want to treat her too much differently from her siblings."[3] Popovich was interested in sports from an early age. She rode horses and played soccer and basketball. When Popovich was 12, she joined a swim club and by the age of 15, she was competing at the 2000 Paralympic Games.[3]

Popovich received a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University in May 2007, and her hometown is listed as Silver Bow, Montana.[3][4]

Swimming career[edit]

Erin Popovich has participated in three Paralympics. She won three gold medals and three silver medals while setting four world records at the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.[5][6] Erin was chosen to be one of the 12,012 Torchbearers of the 2002 Winter Olympics torch relay and she carried the torch in Big Timber, Montana on Monday, January 28.[7] At the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, Popovich won seven gold medals in seven races (including two relays), and set three world records and four Paralympic Games records.[4] In 2005, Popovich won the first ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability and was named the Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.[8] At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, she won an additional four gold and two silver medals, breaking two world records (200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke) and two Paralympic records (100m and 400m freestyle).[9][10] In 2009, she won the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability for the second time.[11] Following the International Paralympic Committee World Swimming Championships in 2010, Popovich announced her retirement from competitive swimming.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Erin Popovich Athlete Biography". US Paralympics. 2007-01-10. Archived from the original on September 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  2. ^ "Former CSU swimmer Erin Popovich going gold in Beijing". Fort Collins Coloradoan. 2008-09-09.
  3. ^ a b c d Franz, Zachary (2008-09-03). "Butte Paralympian makes way to Beijing". Great Falls Tribune. Archived from the original on 2022-02-07. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Paralympics Profile: Erin Popovich". U.S. Paralympics. Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  5. ^ "Making a Big Splash". Colorado State University. June 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  6. ^ "DAAA's Outstanding Swimmers". Dwarf Athletic Association of America. Archived from the original on 2007-11-04. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  7. ^ "Erin Popovich no stranger to the gold". Montana Standard. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  8. ^ "Erin Popovich Named Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year". Colorado State University. September 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  9. ^ "Athlete Biography POPOVICH Erin". Beijing 2008 Paralympics Official Website. Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  10. ^ "Popovich wraps up Paralympics with another silver". Fort Collins Coloradoan. 2008-09-14.
  11. ^ "Popovich Wins ESPY Award". U.S. Paralympics. 2009-07-17. Archived from the original on 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
  12. ^ "Three-Time Paralympian Erin Popovich Retires, Takes Post as USA Swimming Athlete Representative". Swimming World. 2010-09-30. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2011-03-30.

External links[edit]