The Bill Keating, Jr. Memorial Cincinnati Para-Swimming Open is a two-day swim competition sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) that organizes adaptive athletes based on disability classifications. The meet is named in memory of Bill Keating, Jr. who was instrumental in growing this meet since 2010. Bill passed away following a battle with cancer in 2017.
Our goal is to create a sustainable platform for disability sports by recruiting more athletes, educating parents and coaches on capabilities of disabled children and adults, including outreach to injured military, and disabled veterans.
The swim meet serves as the largest non-championship meet for U.S. Paralympics in the United States. The swim meet held at UC has served to bring many new swimmers into the Paralympic Movement to compete and represent their respective Paralympic teams on the national and international level. As such, this meet is viewed as an important competition for U.S. Paralympics Swimming to recruit the next generation of athletes and invite current national team members to serve as leaders and role models.
It is managed by a local organizing committee who will collaborate with USA Swimming, U.S. Paralympics, University of Cincinnati Keating Aquatics Center staff, community leaders, local companies and sponsors, the media, and the swimming network throughout the Midwest, including high school and summer league programs, to invite the community to participate in our ongoing efforts to support disability sports.
- Over the years, hundreds of swimmers from around the globe have attended the meet, including representation from the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team—world record holders and gold medalists from the Beijing and London Paralympic Summer Games, in addition to up-and-coming athletes from the Tri-State region, greater U.S. and Canada.
- Swimmers have traveled as far as 10,000 miles to compete in the Cincinnati meet. Members of the Australian Swim Team visited in 2012 along with athletes from 19 other countries.
- In the last two years, swimmers have set 68 records—7 of those were world records, and 16 were American records.
- Our year-round efforts will be to connect with veterans hospitals, developmental sports programs, such as summer league programs and swim lessons, to build relationships and a network of community advocates who will serve as a recruitment funnel that will be key to identifying future athletes.
- With the support and leadership from the swimming and business community, along with local representation of Paralympic coaches, and athletes, Cincinnati is positioned to be a model for community outreach programs across the country that support adaptive sports and strengthen communities.