Commonwealth Games: Swimmer Sophie Pascoe named NZ flagbearer for opening ceremony

Swimmer Sophie Pascoe will become the first para-athlete to carry the NZ flag into a Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on the Gold Coast.

Pascoe is best known for her exploits at the Paralympics, winning 15 medals across three events from 2008-16.

"It's incredibly humbling to be selected out of over 250 incredible athletes we've produced," Pascoe told Newshub. 

She was also a two-time gold medallist at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years ago, winning the 100m breatstroke and 200m individual medley.

Since a tragic childhood accident left her a below-the-knee amputee, Pascoe, 25, has competed with an S10 classification in swimming and has been named Halberg Disabled Sportsperson of the Year five times.

Pascoe believes her selection reflects the considerable growth and recognition of Para-athletes across the sporting world.

"I’m not a para-athlete, Im just one person and another athlete in this team. We are just one team here.

"I've been selected for what I've achieved for NZ and I am going to walk out there as a proud athlete, and that’s all that they want from an athlete carrying this flag.

"Hopefully this inspires other young disabled athletes to get into sport and maybe follow their dreams of becoming the next big thing."

The opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium is scheduled to start at 10pm (NZ time) Wednesday.

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