Tracy Wiscombe

Tracy is Scotland’s most successful sports person with a learning disability, winning a total of 39 medals in swimming at Paralympic, World or European level. Tracy was a pupil at Balwearie High School and initially swam with Burntisland Swimming Club before moving to join a very strong squad of Paralympians to be coached by Eddie Campbell at Glenrothes Swimming Club. Tracy completely transformed attitudes to S14 swimming in Scotland and Great Britain during the 90s.

Tracy’s record in World Championship swimming was exceptional and is unlikely ever to be bettered. Tracey won 9 medals in total of which 6 were gold at the World championships of 1994 and 1998. Between 1995 and 2001 at four successive European Championships, Tracy won 25 medals of which 22 were gold.

It was in Atlanta in 1996 that Tracy was at the peak of her form. Her 2 gold medals were confirmation that she was the leading S14 swimmer in the world at the time, and just reward for years of dedication to her sport. One silver and 2 bronze medals followed in Sydney in the Games that ended the involvement of athletes with a learning disability in Paralympic sport. The head to heads that Tracy had during her spell at the top with the great swimmers in her class from Australia and Scandinavia were memorable and she gained herself the reputation as the high performance swimmer for the big occasion. Britain’s attitude to S14 women’s swimming changed when Tracy Wiscombe arrived on the scene and she was a sad loss to Scotland when she moved south of the Border and an even greater loss to Great Britain when she retired after Sydney.

Tracy was a Paralympic swimmer from Fife who was fully included in mainstream swimming and excelled in both disability swimming and mainstream swimming locally and nationally. The pathway she followed from school to club to GB selection was the model for any individual with a learning disability. Tracy remains a role model in her home area for successive generations of performance athletes with a learning disability across all sports.