Terence Parkin • The Princess Charlene Of Monaco Foundation South Africa Skip to content


Terence Parkin, a deaf swimmer from South Africa, was born on April 12, 1980, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Over a 15-year sporting career, he competed internationally and professionally for 11 years. Terence’s accomplishments include winning a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics and becoming the most successful sportsman in the history of the Deaflympics since its inception in 1929, with an impressive collection of 29 gold medals, along with one silver and one bronze medal in cycling across 4 Deaflympic Games. He holds an astounding 50 Deaf World Records in both long and short course swimming, earning him the nicknames ‘Silent Torpedo’ and the Michael Phelps of the Deaflympics.

Taking a break from swimming, Terence ventured into triathlons and cycling, winning the World Deaf Cycling Championships’ 120km road race in California in 2005. Locally, he has participated in major events like the Dusi Canoe Marathon, Sani2C, Amashovashova, and the 94.7 Cycle Challenge.

Terence’s accolades include multiple awards such as World Deaf Sportsman of the Year (1997, 2000, 2001, 2005), CISS Sportsman of the Century (2000), SA Schools Sportsman of the Year (2002), and Gold Presidential Awards (2000, 2001, 2002).

His remarkable success is a result of unwavering dedication to training, spending countless hours in the water or on his bike daily. Terence’s relentless pursuit of excellence has set a benchmark for deaf sports globally, inspiring fellow athletes like Roland Schoeman, who marvel at his intense training regimen. In a notable act of heroism, Parkin rescued a young boy from drowning in 2011.