Teresa Perales

Spanish Paralympian swimmer

Teresa Perales Fernández[1] (born on 29 December 1975) is an S5, SB4, SM5 type Spanish swimmer, political person and professional speaker who finished in the top three 22 times in the Paralympic Games, with six of her top three finishes happening at the 2012 London Games. She has the most top three finishes at the Paralympics out of any person from Spain.

Teresa Perales
Teresa Perales
Personal information
Full nameTeresa Perales Fernández
Nationality Spain
Born (1975-12-29) 29 December 1975 (age 48)
Zaragoza, Spain
ClubCD Asser: Spain

In 1995, at the age of nineteen, Perales was diagnosed with neuropathy[note 1] and lost the use of her legs in three months. After the 2000 Paralympics Games, she earned a Diploma in Physiotherapy[note 2] and married Mariano Menor. She had a baby (named Mariano Menor Jr) with him after the 2008 Games. In addition to swimming, Perales has been a politician, teacher, business person and professional talker. As an Aragonese Party (PAR) political person, she was in office from 2003 to 2007. After she stopped being a political person, she co-wrote an autobiography with her husband. She has no plans to return to office but was on the 2011 ballot for PAR as a member of the Congreso de los Diputados in a symbolic gesture. Perales supports organizations like Doctors Without Borders, Fundación Carlos Sanz and Fundación Vicente Ferrer.

Starting swimming at the age of 19, she joined the Aragon-based disability sport club CAI CDM when she was 20 years old. When she was 21 years old, in 1997, she competed in her first Spanish championships, and she finished in the top three several times. In 1998, she first competed for Spain at the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Swimming World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand and finished number three in one race. She competed in the 1999 European Championship, 2000 Summer Paralympics, 2001 European Championships, 2002 IPC World Championship, 2004 Summer Paralympics, 2006 IPC World Swimming Championship, and 2008 Summer Paralympics. She stopped swimming after the 2008 Games and gave birth to her son. She started swimming again in 2011 for the European Championship and then competed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. She finished in the top three in every Paralympics, European Championship, and World Championship in which she raced.

Because of her top three finishes in so many races, Perales was awarded the Gran Cruz del Mérito Deportivo and the Medalla de Oro de la Real Orden del Mérito Deportivo. She has earned several other awards including the Woman of the Year by the Spanish women's magazine Mujer hoy.



Perales was born in Zaragoza on 29 December 1975.[2]


Teresa Perales in Zaragoza on January 2013

Perales is a S5, SB4, SM5 type swimmer and is a member of CD Asser: Spain swimming club.[2][3] She is the has the most first three finishes of any Paralympic sportperson from Spain.[4]

World Championships


Perales first competed for Spain not in Spain at the IPC World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1998.[1][2] She finished number three in the 50 m freestyle event. She finished in fourth-place in the 4 x 50 m freestyle 20 points relay, 4 x 50 m medley 20 points relay and the 400 m freestyle. She finished in seventh-place in the 100 m libre event and finished eighth in the 50 m butterfly.[1]


Finish Year Event Time
Third 1998 50m Freestyle S6 38.08
Second 2002 50m Freestyle S5 37.36
Second 2002 100m Freestyle S5 01:20.9
Third 2002 200m Freestyle S5 02:58.4
Third 2002 50m Backstroke S5 45.63
Second 2002 100m Breaststroke SB4 02:06.3
Second 2002 50m Butterfly S5 43.47
Second 2002 200m Individual Medley SM5 03:39.0
Third 2006 50m Freestyle S5 39.24
Third 2006 50m Backstroke S5 49.11
Second 2006 50m Butterfly S5 49.46



Perales competed at four Paralympic Games: the 2000 Summer Paralympics, 2004 Summer Paralympics, 2008 Summer Paralympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics.[5] She had her first top three finish at the 2000 Summer Paralympics.[2]

At the 2004 Athens Games, when she was 27 years old,[6] Perales twice finished first.[1][2] Her two first place finishes were the first time she ever had first place finishes at the Paralympic Games.[7]


Finish Year Event Time
Third 2000 Sydney 50m Freestyle S5 38.36
Third 2000 Sydney 100m Freestyle S5 01:23.4
Third 2000 Sydney 200m Freestyle S5 02:56.5
Third 2000 Sydney 50m Backstroke S5 49.41
Second 2000 Sydney 50m Butterfly S5 46.56
Third 2004 Athens 50m Freestyle S5 37.62
First 2004 Athens 100m Freestyle S5 01:20.0
Third 2004 Athens 50m Backstroke S5 45.39
Third 2004 Athens 100m Breaststroke SB4 02:00.9
First 2004 Athens 50m Butterfly S5 44.7
Second 2004 Athens 4 x 50m Medley Relay 20 Points 03:31.5
First 2008 Beijing 50m Freestyle S5 35.88
First 2008 Beijing 100m Freestyle S5 01:16.6
First 2008 Beijing 200m Freestyle S5 02:47.5
Second 2008 Beijing 50m Backstroke S5 44.58
Third 2008 Beijing 100m Breaststroke SB4 02:01.3
Second 2012 London 50m Freestyle S5 36.5
Third 2012 London 200m Individual Medley SM5 03:28.6
Second 2012 London 200m Freestyle S5 02:51.8
Third 2012 London 100m Breaststroke SB4 01:56.2
Second 2012 London 50m Butterfly S5 42.67
First 2012 London 100m Freestyle S5 01:18.5

Awards and recognition


Perales was given the Gran Cruz del Mérito Deportivo.[7]

  1. Any disease or unnormal condition of the nerves.
  2. physical is to do with the body as opposed to the mind. Therapy is to do with, of value in the medical work of making ill persons well or overcoming the effects of disease, or more frequently some special system or branch of it. Physical therapy is overcoming physical medical problems.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Datos Biografía" (in Spanish). Spain: Paralimpicos Espana. 2012. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "PERALES Teresa". International Paralympic Committee. 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  3. "Teresa Perales logra cinco medallas de oro en el Open Swimming Championships" (in Spanish). Aragon, Spain: Aragon Digital. 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  4. "Teresa Perales igualó las 22 medallas de Phelps - Premios As" (in Spanish). Spain: AS. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  5. "Teresa Perales es nombrada Mejor Deportista Aragonesa por la Asociación de la Prensa Deportiva de Zaragoza |publisherEsto es DxT" (in Spanish). Spain. 19 December 2012. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  6. "La diosa de Atenas" (in Spanish). Aragon, Spain: El Periódico de Aragón. 29 September 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mujer hoy - María José Barrero (22 December 2012). "IV Edición Premios Mujer hoy. Teresa Perales: "No cambiaría por nada en el mundo mi vida de ahora"" (in Spanish). Spain: Mujer Hoy. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.

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