Sophie Pascoe

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Sophie Pascoe
Personal information
Full name Sophie Frances Pascoe
Nationality New Zealand
Born (1993-01-08) 8 January 1993 (age 24)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Sport
Sport Swimming
Classifications S10, SB9, SM10
Club QEII Swim Club
Coach Roly Crichton

Sophie Frances Pascoe MNZM (born 8 January 1993)[1] is a New Zealand para-swimmer. She has represented New Zealand at three Summer Paralympic Games from 2008, winning a total of nine gold medals and six silver medals, making her New Zealand's most successful Paralympian.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Christchurch on 8 January 1993 to Gary and Jo Pascoe, Sophie grew up on a lifestyle block near Halswell on the south-western outskirts of the city.[3] She has one older sister, Rebecca. On 23 September 1995,[4] Pascoe was accidentally run over by her father on the family ride-on lawnmower, resulting in both her legs being caught under the cutter deck housing in the path of the rotating mower blades. As a result of the accident, her left leg was to be amputated below the knee, while the rear of her right leg was left with severe scarring.[3][5][6] She attended Halswell Primary School,[3] and Lincoln High School in the nearby Christchurch satellite town of Lincoln.[5]

Pascoe began swimming at age 7.[3] She is coached by Roly Crichton,[7] and trains at the QEII swim club, which has been based at Jellie Park in Burnside since the facilities at Queen Elizabeth II Park were damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.[8]

International swimming career[edit]

Pascoe is classified S10 for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly, SB9 for breaststroke, and SM10 for individual medley.[9]

At the 2008 Summer Paralympics, Pascoe won a gold and a silver medal for the 100 m breaststroke and 100 m butterfly respectively and later a gold for the women's 200 m individual medley.[10] Pascoe then shared a gold medal for the 100 m backstroke when she drew with South African Shireen Sapiro.[11] At 15 years of age, Pascoe was New Zealand's youngest athlete at the Paralympics,[12] and the youngest ever New Zealander to win a medal.[13]

Following the 2008 Paralympics, Pascoe was voted New Zealand's favourite Paralympian in a nationwide voting competition run by Mitsubishi Motors. For this she won a Mitsubishi VRX Outlander.[14] Pascoe was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2009 New Year's Honours, for her services to swimming.[15] In February 2012, Pascoe became the inaugural winner of the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year award at the 2011 Halberg Awards.[16]

At the 2012 Summer Paralympics, Pascoe competed in six events – the four in which she won medals at the 2008 Paralympics, plus the 50m freestyle (S10) and 100m freestyle (SM10) events.[6] She successfully defended her 200 m individual medley (SM10) gold medal, breaking her own world record by four seconds with a time of 2:25.65.[17] She also won gold medals in the 100 m butterfly (S10), where she bettered her silver at Beijing and in the process setting a new world record with a time of 1:04.43,[18] and in the 100 m freestyle (S10), setting a new Paralympic record with a time of 1:00.89.[19] Pascoe won silver medals in the 50 m freestyle (S10),[20] 100 m backstroke (S10),[21] and 100 m breaststroke (SB9).[22]

In March 2013 Pascoe broke her own world record for the 50m butterfly at the New Zealand Swimming Championships in Auckland, setting a time of 29.21 seconds.[23][24]

At the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Pascoe competed in five events, dropping the 100 m breaststroke SB9. She won gold medals in the 100 m backstroke, 100 m butterfly and 200 m individual medley, the latter in world record time. She also won silver medals in the 50 m freestyle and 100 m freestyle, both behind Canada's Aurélie Rivard. Her 50 m freestyle medal holds the distinction as the 200th medal won by New Zealand at the Paralympic Games (both summer and winter editions).[25] Her success took her gold medal count to nine and her total medal count to 15, overtaking Eve Rimmer's eight gold medals and 14 total medals to become New Zealand's most successful Paralympian.[2]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time Date Location Notes
50 m freestyle (S10) 27.78 18 August 2013 Montreal, Canada AR
200 m freestyle (S10) 2:12.35 19 December 2015 Auckland, New Zealand AR
50 m backstroke (S10) 31.62 10 August 2014 Auckland, New Zealand AR
100 m backstroke (S10) 1:05.95 17 August 2013 Montreal, Canada AR
100 m breaststroke (SB9) 1:17.53 14 August 2013 Montreal, Canada AR
100 m freestyle (S10) 59.50 30 September 2013 Wellington, New Zealand WR
50 m butterfly (S10) 28.38 19 March 2013 Auckland, New Zealand WR
100 m butterfly (S10) 1:02.60 31 March 2016 Auckland, New Zealand WR
200 m individual medley (SM10) 2:24.90 11 September 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil WR[26]
400 m individual medley (SM10) 5:23.67 19 December 2015 Auckland, New Zealand WR

Major achievements[edit]

  • 2016: Dominant performance at Rio resulting in 5 medals, three of which were gold and two silver.
  • 2013: Winner of the Halberg Award for Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
  • 2012: Three gold medals (100 m freestyle-S10, 100 m butterfly-S10, 200 m individual medley-SM10); three silver medals (50 m freestyle-S10, 100 m backstroke-S10, 100 m breaststroke-SB9) – International Paralympic Committee (IPC) – Paralympic Games, London, United Kingdom; Winner of the Halberg Award for Disabled Sportsperson of the Year. Named as an ambassador for Beef and Lamb New Zealand.[27]
  • 2011: Winner of the Halberg Award for Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
  • 2010: Gold medal (100 m butterfly-S10); three silver medals (50 m freestyle-S10, 100 m backstroke-S10, 200 m individual medley-SM10); bronze medal (100 m breaststroke-SB9) – IPC World Championships, Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • 2009: Four gold medals (100 m backstroke-S10, 100 m butterfly-S10, 100 m individual medley-SM10, 200 m individual medley-SM10); three bronze medals (100 m freestyle-S10, 400 m freestyle-S10, 100 m breaststroke-SB9) – IPC World Championships – 25 m, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2008: Three gold medals (100 m backstroke-S10, 100 m breaststroke-SB9, 200 m individual medley-SM10); Silver (100 m butterfly-S10) – International Paralympic Committee (IPC) – Paralympic Games, Beijing, China
  • 2006: Bronze (200 m individual medley-SM10) – IPC World Championships, Durban, South Africa

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paralympic Athletes – Swimming". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Tony (13 September 2016). "Sophie Pascoe keeps her promise, while taking Paralympics mainstream in NZ". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Forbes, Michael (8 September 2012). "No limits". The Dominion Post. p. A8. 
  4. ^ "Sophie Pascoe's stroke of fate". The Dominion Post. 19 October 2013. pp. Your Weekend 8–10. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Booker, Jarrod (17 September 2008). "Paralympics: My disability inspired me – Sophie". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Woodcock, Fred (29 August 2012). "Sophie Pascoe a moving target at Paralympics". Fairfax Media (via Stuff.co.nz). Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Sophie Pascoe has tight bond with coach". Fairfax Media (via Stuff.co.nz). 9 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Woodcock, Fred (29 August 2012). "Darling of Beijing faces big task". The Press Christchurch (via Stuff.co.nz). Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Classification Master List, Summer Season 2016 – New Zealand". IPC Swimming. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Second gold for Pascoe in the pool". 12 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  11. ^ "Gold and silver for NZ swimmers". NZPA. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  12. ^ "Pascoe wins gold for grandad". TVNZ. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Kiwi teen takes silver". TVNZ. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "Golden girl voted NZ's favourite Paralympian". Mitsubishi Motors (via Scoop.co.nz). 19 September 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "New Year Honours List 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  16. ^ Plumb, Simon (9 February 2012). "All Blacks stars of show at Halberg Awards". Fairfax Media (via Stuff.co.nz). Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Paralympics: NZ's golden start". The New Zealand Herald. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "Pascoe wins second gold in London pool". Fairfax Media (via Stuff.co.nz). 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "Paralympics: Pascoe claims third gold despite illness". New Zealand Herald. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "Medal rush continues for Pascoe, Fisher". Television New Zealand. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Pascoe wins silver, loses Paralympic title". Television New Zealand. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  22. ^ "Sixth medal for Sophie Pascoe". 3 News. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Kiwis Pascoe, Fisher set world records". 3 News NZ. 19 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Paralympic stars in world-beating form". Yahoo!Xtra. 19 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "Rio Paralympics: New Zealand claim four medals in an hour on scintillating second day of competition". Stuff.co.nz. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  26. ^ "Results -- Women's 200 metre individual medley final" (PDF). Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  27. ^ "Sophie Pascoe named Beef and Lamb ambassador". 3 News NZ. 25 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

Awards
New award Halberg Awards – Disabled Sportsperson of the Year
2011, 2012, 2013
2015
Succeeded by
Mary Fisher
Preceded by
Mary Fisher
Succeeded by
Liam Malone
Preceded by
Brendon McCullum
Halberg Awards – Leadership Award
2016
Incumbent