17534-Sophia Herzog photo

Sophia Herzog



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Short stature
Origin of Impairment
S6, SB6, SM6

Further personal information

Partner Nick Gibb
Salida, CO, USA
Higher education
Business, Communications - DeVry University: Downers Grove, IL, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming competitively at age 12 at the Jimi Flowers Swim Meet in the United States of America.
Why this sport?
"It kept me active and was not hard on my body."
Training Regime
She has nine sessions in the water each week at Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center in Colorado, United States of America, and goes to the gym three times a week. She also practises yoga to maintain her fitness.

International debut

Competing for
United States
United States

General interest

Spending time with her dog, drinking coffee, fly fishing. (Instagram profile, 09 Oct 2020, 26 Sep 2020; Twitter profile, 26 Feb 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the SB6 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 18 Apr 2017)
Hero / Idol
US Para swimmer Erin Popovich. (Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
She had surgery on a benign cyst and a tissue ridge in her right knee in April 2018 and was unable to swim for 10 days. She required a second operation on her knee in September 2018. (, 11 Dec 2018, 08 Aug 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Tiny but mighty." (Athlete, 07 Jan 2016)
Awards and honours
In 2017 she was named Colorado State Swimmer of the Year with a Disability in the United States of America. (, 01 Mar 2018)
Famous relatives
Her partner Nick Gibb has competed in Para cycling representing the United States of America, including at the 2018 Track World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Instagram profile, 08 Sep 2020; Nick Gibb Instagram profile, 26 Apr 2020; SportsDeskOnline, 02 Mar 2021)
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 02 Feb 2021;, 02 Feb 2021)
She is a person of short stature. (Team USA YouTube channel, 17 Nov 2017)
Other information
In early 2020 she moved to Salida, CO, United States of America, to settle in preparation for retirement after the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. "I will be 24 in Tokyo. My body has been doing this for the past 12 years and it is time to give the body a break. I've been so hyper focused on sports the past 12 years that I haven't developed other passions outside of swimming. I haven't been able to explore other options and I'm ready to start that next chapter of my life." (, 02 Feb 2021;, 03 Feb 2020;, 11 Dec 2018)

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 she swam in the Arkansas River in Colorado, United States of America, while pools were closed. "I'm an elite swimmer and this is out of my comfort zone by a long shot. I'll sit here for 20 minutes waiting for the dogs and kayakers and everybody to clear out. I'm kind of the low-man on the totem pole when it comes to claiming river space. A huge part of swimming is having a feel for the water and you can lose that in a day. Remember learning to ride a bike? Then, at some point, it's not awkward and it's just intuitive. That's kind of like the feel for water. It's definitely hard to stay motivated. This is all on me, you know. My coach is not sitting out at the pool waiting for me. I'm the one who needs to get on my bike or come down here to swim. My boyfriend has really been motivating me reminding me that this is the time when champions are made, which I totally believe." (, 22 May 2020)

She initially hoped to pursue alpine skiing, but she needed knee surgery before graduating high school and decided to switch to swimming. "The transition was really easy. I grew up in an athletic family, so I was doing sports of all sorts. I learned how to swim when I was really young, so then I just started training." (, 10 Feb 2020;, 03 Feb 2020)


Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Butterfly S6 Heat 1 2016-09-09 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S6 Heat 1 2016-09-10 4
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6 Final Round 2016-09-12 6
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6 Heat 1 2016-09-12 4
Women's 400 m Freestyle S6 Heat 2 2016-09-13 7
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB6 Heat 2 2016-09-15 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB6 Final Round 2016-09-15 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S6 Heat 1 2016-09-17 5
Mexico City 2017 World Para Swimming Championships (Mexico City, Mexico)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 400 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2017-12-02 5
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB6 Final 1 2017-12-03 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2017-12-04 3
Women's 100 m Backstroke S6 Final 1 2017-12-05 3
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2017-12-05 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM6 Final 1 2017-12-07 2
Mixed 4x50 m Freestyle 20pts Final 1 2017-12-07 5
Women's 50 m Freestyle S6 Final 1 2017-12-07 5