Ambassadors & advisors

Terence PARKIN

Terence PARKIN


Terence Parkin was born 12 April 1980 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe ; he is a deaf swimmer from South Africa.
Terence has a sporting career spanning 15 years.  He has competed internationally and professionally for 11 of these.
Terence is the Deaflympics’ most successful sportsman since its inception 1929.  He has amassed no fewer than 29 gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal (for cycling) at 4 Deaflympic Games meetings.  Terence currently holds 50 Deaf World records in the long and short-course pool.  He is referred to as the `Silent Torpedo’ and the Michael Phelps of the Deaflympics.
Terence took a break from swimming for a few years and entered a number of triathlons and cycling races.  He won the World Deaf Cycling Championships in the 120km road race in California, 2005. Locally, he has competed in many major sporting evenings:  Dusi Canoe Marathon, Sani2C, Amashovashova, 94.7, etc.
Terence has received the following awards nationally and internationally:  World Deaf Sportsman of the Year (1997, 2000, 2001, 2005), CISS Sportsman of the Century (2000), SA Schools Sportsman of the Year (2002), Gold Presidential Awards (2000, 2001, 2002).
Terence’s success can be attributed to his sheer will and dedication to training.  He spends hours a day either in the water or on his bicycle.  It is very rare for Terence to miss a day of some form of training.
Terence has changed the face of Deaf sport internationally, setting a standard that other Deaf sportspeople strive to attain.  Many Deaf swimmers’ main goal at the Deaflympics is to beat Terence.  Other regular sportsmen, such as Roland Schoeman, have commented that they do not understand the amount of training Terence is able to complete in a day, they would definitely break under that strain.
In 2011, Parkin saved a young boy from drowning.

He has amassed more than 400 gold medals, 200 silver medals and 50 bronze medals during this time.  Some of the highlights are:
  • Sydney Olympics 2000, Silver medal 200m breast stroke
  • 30 gold medals, 6 silver medals and 10 bronze medals at the SA National Champs between 1996 and 2006.
  • Goodwill Games (1 gold)
  • 2 x Commonwealth Games (Kuala Lampur and Manchester) – silver medal
  • All Africa Games (4 gold medals, 3 records)
  • Pan Pacific Champs (Bronze)
  • Deaflympics, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2009:  29 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze (for cycling)
  • Midmar Mile – two-time winner


Success is 90% attitude and 10% training….with the right attitude you can do anything.  The worst disability is attitude!
Terence PARKIN