Mary Fisher (swimmer)

Mary Elizabeth Fisher MNZM (born 16 January 1993) is a New Zealand para swimmer. She represented New Zealand at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London and the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, combined winning two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze medal.[1][2]

Mary Fisher
Mary Fisher 2015 (cropped).jpg
Fisher in 2015
Personal information
Full nameMary Elizabeth Fisher
Born (1993-01-16) 16 January 1993 (age 27)
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
ClassificationsS11, SB11, SM11
ClubCapital Swimming club

Fisher was born in Lower Hutt and grew up in the nearby Upper Hutt suburb of Silverstream. She was born with the rare genetic condition aniridia, resulting in low vision which deteriorated as a teenager. She attended Silverstream Primary School, Maidstone Intermediate and Heretaunga College.[3] She is a student at the Wellington campus of Massey University.[4][5]

Fisher began swimming for enjoyment as a nine year old and trained at the Upper Hutt Swim Club until completing high school in 2010. Her goal of swimming at the London 2012 Paralympics was bolstered by meeting coach Luke Clark and she moved to Wellington city to train under his guidance. After his departure overseas Fisher relocated to the North Shore in Auckland following the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow. She is classified S11 for totally blind swimmers in freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke; SB11 for breaststroke, and SM11 for individual medley.[6]

At the 2012 Summer Paralympics, Fisher won the gold medal in the 200 m individual medley SM11 in a world record time of 2:46.91. She also won silver medals in the 100 m freestyle and the 100 m backstroke, and the bronze medal in the 50 m freestyle S11.

She won five gold medals and a silver at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal.[7][8]

In 2015, she won three gold and two silver medals at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow,[9] qualifying her for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. She was officially confirmed to represent New Zealand at the Paralympics on 5 May 2016.[10]

At the 2016 Summer Paralympics, Fisher won the gold medal in the women's 100m backstroke S11 in a world record time of 1:17.96.[2][11]

In the 2013 New Year Honours, Fisher was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to swimming.[12] She was named 2014 Disabled Sportsperson of the Year at the annual Halberg Awards.[13]

Fisher announced her retirement from competitive swimming in November 2018.[14]

Personal bestsEdit

Event Time Location Date Notes
50 m freestyle (S11) 31.35 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 13 September 2016 AR
100 m freestyle (S11) 1:09.47 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 15 September 2016 AR
200 m freestyle (S11) 2:35.31 Berlin, Germany 9 June 2016 AR
400 m freestyle (S11) 5:22.09 London, United Kingdom 7 September 2012 AR
50 m backstroke (S11) 36.96 Berlin, Germany 10 June 2016 AR
100 m backstroke (S11) 1:17.96 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 9 September 2016 WR
200 m backstroke (S11) 2:54.46 Berlin, Germany 9 June 2016 AR
100 m breaststroke (SB11) 1:38.25 Glasgow, United Kingdom 18 July 2016 AR
50 m butterfly (S11) 32.92 Auckland, New Zealand 1 April 2016 WR
100 m butterfly (S11) 1:15.17 Auckland, New Zealand 22 March 2013 WR
200 m butterfly (S11) 2:50.93 Auckland, New Zealand 20 March 2013 WR
200 m individual medley (SM11) 2:46.91 London, United Kingdom 8 September 2012 WR


  1. ^ "Wellington swimmer wins gold". Radio New Zealand. 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  2. ^ a b Tan, Lincoln (10 September 2016). "Paralympics: Mary Fisher wins gold - 'it's all for them'". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  3. ^ "She now has London on the agenda". The Dominion Post. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Hutt swimmer aims for a medal in Turkey". 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  5. ^ "Fisher makes Paralympic pool her own with 3 medals". 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  6. ^ "Classification Master List, Summer Season 2016 – New Zealand". IPC Swimming. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Swimming: Kiwi's continue IPC dominance". NZ Herald. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Pascoe, Fisher both claim fifth golds in Montreal". The Press. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Swimming: NZ claim five places for Rio". Otago Daily Times. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher head powerful New Zealand swimming team for Paralympics". 5 May 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Results -- Women's 100 metre backstroke S11 -- Rio 2015 Paralympic Games" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  12. ^ "New Year honours list 2013". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  13. ^ "More accolades for paralympian". 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  14. ^ "National Portrait: Mary Fisher, swimmer and disability advocate". 1 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Sophie Pascoe
Halberg Awards – Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
Succeeded by
Sophie Pascoe