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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
Close up of swimmer doing breast stroke

Sophie Pascoe

Swimming
10
9
2

Aged just 15, Sophie Pascoe was the youngest member of the New Zealand team at Beijing 2008 where she won three gold and one silver medal in the Water Cube.

Her success in Beijing earned her four awards at the 2009 Canterbury Sportsperson Awards, including the prestigious Sportsperson of the Year Award.

At London 2012 she did even better than in Beijing taking home three gold and three silver medals in front of 17,000 people.

"I'm incredibly rapped to finish the games off like that. My ultimate goal was to get on the podium and that's what I've done. I'm finished and had a great campaign," she said after the final race of her second Paralympic Games.

After setting personal bests in all the races she won silver in at London 2012 she was determined to add to her gold medal collection at the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada, and came away with an incredible five world titles.

The S10 swimmer had a difficult season in 2015 with the absence of her coach Roly Crichton, but still made the best of the year by adding three world titles to her bulging collection.

Pascoe, who lost her left leg following a lawnmower accident at two years old, shone again at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, taking three golds and two silvers, and breaking one world and one Paralympic records along the way.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
S9, SB9, SM9

Further personal information

Residence
Christchurch, NZL
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Beauty Therapy - Kristen Stewart School of Make Up Artistry: Christchurch, ENG

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming at age seven.
Why this sport?
In school she was able to swim faster than her able-bodied friends and realised she had a talent for the sport.
Club / Team
QEII Swim Club: Christchurch, NZL
Name of coach
Roly Crichton [personal], NZL
Training Regime
Ahead of major competitions she trains six days a week. Her schedule during this period includes 10 sessions in the pool and four gym sessions. She trains in both Christchurch and Auckland in New Zealand.

General interest

Nicknames
Soph (Twitter profile, 08 Sep 2017)
Hobbies
Shopping, fashion. (odt.co.nz, 14 Oct 2016)
Injuries
In August 2018 she underwent surgery to remove what remained of the fibula bone in her left leg, as well as the main nerve that ran into her stump. Doctors made the decision to operate after she had experienced pain earlier in the year when trying on a new prosthetic leg. (stuff.co.nz, 31 Dec 2018)

She suffered from an infection while competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The illness forced her to miss the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Pasadena, CA, United States of America. She underwent an operation in Canada, which took her two months to recover from. (stuff.co.nz, 18 Apr 2015)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She listens to music from US singer Missy Elliot before every race. (paralympic.org, 11 May 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Everyone can be 100% physically ready. It's who has that 100% mental X-factor that will be world champion." (odt.co.nz, 14 Oct 2016)
Awards and honours
She was flag bearer for New Zealand at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (radionz.co.nz, 03 Apr 2018)

She was named the 2017 Swimmer of the Year by Swimming NZ. (stuff.co.nz, 09 Apr 2017)

In 2017 she was nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. (stuff.co.nz, 12 Jan 2017)

In 2017 she was presented with the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award at the 54th Halberg Awards. (halbergawards.co.nz, 09 Feb 2017)

She was named New Zealand's Sportsperson with an Impairment of the Year for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. (paralympics.org.nz, 22 Feb 2016)

In October 2009 she received four honours at the Canterbury Sportsperson Awards in New Zealand, which included being named the Sportsperson of the Year. She became the first athlete with an impairment to receive the award. (stuff.co.nz, 02 Oct 2009)

In March 2009 she was given the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of her services to swimming. (gg.govt.nz, 19 Mar 2009)
Milestones
She won three gold medals and two silver medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This took her Paralympic medal total to 15, making her the most successful athlete from New Zealand to have competed at the Paralympic Games. In 2008 she became the youngest New Zealander to win a Paralympic medal when she took silver in the S10 100m butterfly at the 2008 Games in Beijing. She was also the youngest member of the New Zealand team at the Games. (stuff.co.nz, 09 Apr 2017; nzherald.co.nz, 17 Sep 2008; tvnz.co.nz, 09 Sep 2008)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (stuff.co.nz, 31 Dec 2018)
Impairment
Her left leg was amputated below the knee at age two after her father accidentally reversed over her with a lawnmower. (stuff.co.nz, 19 Oct 2013)
Other information
TRAINING ABROAD
In 2018 she spent more than three months in Nottingham, England, as part of her preparations for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. While she was there she trained with British Para swimmer Ollie Hynd, who has neuro muscular myopathy. "Working one-on-one with Ollie was definitely beneficial. It was really challenging but made me a tougher person. There were times when it wasn't going great, and times when it went so great. But I'm so glad I did it, because it's part of the new chapter in my life. Another stepping stone towards Tokyo." (stuff.co.nz, 31 Dec 2018)

BIOGRAPHY
Her biography 'Stroke of Fate' was published in 2013. The book reveals details about how the accident in which she lost the lower part of her left leg has affected her family. The limb was amputated at age two after her father Garry accidentally reversed over her with a lawnmower, something he says has haunted him ever since. "I wanted people to know about me so when they watch me race, they can feel like they know me. I really wanted to make it as honest and open as possible because I see myself as an open book anyway," Sophie said. (yahoo.com, 15 Nov 2013)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied for qualifications in business and management through an online course. (stuff.co.nz, 31 Dec 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
IPC Swimming World Championships Durban 2006 (Durban, South Africa)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 400 m Freestyle S10 Heats 12
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Final Round 3
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heats 13
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heats 10
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Final Round 4
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Heats 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heats 9
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heats 12
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Heat 2 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Final Round 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heat 1 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 4
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heat 1 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Final Round 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Final Round 1
IPC Swimming World Championships Eindhoven 2010 (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heat 1 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Final Round 2
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Heat 1 3
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Final Round 3
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heat 2 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Final Round 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Heat 1 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Final Round 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heat 1 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Final Round 2012-08-30 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Heat 2 2012-08-30 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2012-08-31 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2012-08-31 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Final Round 2012-09-01 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heat 2 2012-09-01 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heat 1 2012-09-04 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Final Round 2012-09-04 2
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2012-09-06 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2012-09-06 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Heat 1 2012-09-08 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Final Round 2012-09-08 2
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Final 1 2013-08-12 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2013-08-12 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Final 1 2013-08-14 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Heat 1 2013-08-14 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heat 2 2013-08-16 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Final 1 2013-08-16 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Final 1 2013-08-17 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heat 2 2013-08-17 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2013-08-18 1
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Final 1 2013-08-18 1
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2015-07-13 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Final 1 2015-07-13 3
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Heat 2 2015-07-14 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Final 1 2015-07-14 1
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Final 1 2015-07-15 3
Women's 100 m Breaststroke SB9 Heat 1 2015-07-15 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heat 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Final 1 2015-07-16 2
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Final 1 2015-07-17 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heat 2 2015-07-17 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Final 1 2015-07-18 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2015-07-18 2
Women's 4x100 m Medley 34pts Final 1 2015-07-19 7
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2016-09-09 2
Women's 50 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2016-09-09 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Heat 2 2016-09-10 1
Women's 100 m Backstroke S10 Final Round 2016-09-10 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Final Round 2016-09-11 1
Women's 200 m Individual Medley SM10 Heat 2 2016-09-11 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Heat 2 2016-09-12 1
Women's 100 m Butterfly S10 Final Round 2016-09-12 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Heat 2 2016-09-13 1
Women's 100 m Freestyle S10 Final Round 2016-09-13 2