Sophie Pascoe

New Zealand Paralympic swimmer

Sophie Frances Pascoe (born 8 January 1993) is a paralympic swimmer from New Zealand. At two years old, she was in an accident. As a result, her left leg was amputated, and her right leg was scarred. She is now New Zealand's most decorated Paralympian with 20 medals.[1]

Sophie Pascoe
Personal information
Full nameSophie Frances Pascoe
NationalityNew Zealand
Born8. January, 1993
Christchurch, New Zealand
Disability classS10, SB9, SM10
ClubQEII Swim Club
Coached byRoly Crichton

Early life


Sophie Frances Pascoe was born on January 8, 1993, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her parents' names are Garry and Jo Pascoe. She has an older sister named Rebecca. When Pascoe was 2 years old, she was involved in a lawnmower accident. Her father accidentally drove over her leg. Her right left got many scars, and her left leg had to be amputated from the knee down.[1]

Sophie struggled to keep up with the other children in her school in swimming. When Sophie was 7 years old, she started one on one swimming lessons. She quickly got better at swimming. Later that year, she beat all her classmates in the school's annual swimming race.[1] Before her grandfather died, she made a promise that one day she would compete in the Paralympics.[1]

From the age of 8 until 2022 she was coached by Roly Crichton, an earlier Paralympics gold medalist. She trains at the QEII swim club.[2]

Swimming career


At the age of 15, she qualified for the Beijing Paralympics.[1] She was the youngest team member. In the 2008 Beijing Paralympics she won three gold and one silver medal.[3]

After that she gained a lot of attention. She was voted New Zealand's favorite Paralympian in a Nationwide voting competition. She also won four awards at the Canterbury Sportsperson Awards in 2009. One was the Sportsperson of the Year Award.

At the London 2012 Paralympics she won three gold and three silver medals. In the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, she once again won three gold and two silver medals. She has won over 20 medals in Paralympics, Swimming World championships and different National Championship. This makes her New Zealand's most decorated Paralympian.

In 2013 Pascoe wrote and published a biography. The book Stroke of Fate focuses on her family and her dedication to become the most successful Paralympian in New Zealand history.[4]

Major achievements

  • IPC Swimming World Championships Durban 2006 (Durban, South Africa)[3]
    • 1 bronze medal[3]
  • Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games
    • 3 gold and 1 silver medal[3]
  • IPC Swimming World Championships Eindhoven 2010 (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
    • 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal[3]
  • London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
    • 3 gold medal and 3 silver medal[3]
  • 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships (Montreal, Canada)
    • 5 gold medals[3]
  • 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships (Glasgow, Great Britain)
    • 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals[3]
  • Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    • 3 gold and 2 silver medals[3]
  • London 2019 World Para Swimming Championships (London, Great Britain)
    • 4 gold medals[3]
  • Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (Tokyo, Japan)
    • 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Brooks, Ben (2019). Stories for kids who dare to be different. Running Press Kids. ISBN 978-0-7624-6855-3.
  2. Woodcock, Fred (2012-08-28). "Darling of Beijing faces big task". Stuff. Retrieved 2023-02-28.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "Sophie Pascoe - Swimming | Paralympic Athlete Profile". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2023-02-28.
  4. "Sophie Pascoe". Britannica Kids. Retrieved 2023-02-28.