Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Dame Sophie Pascoe (Para Swimming)

  • 01/01/2022

Dame Sophie Pascoe

Age: 29

Born: January 8, 1993 at Christchurch

Height: 1.70m

Events: 100m freestyle (S9)

Personal best: 59.50s

Coach: Brett Naylor

Previous Commonwealth Games: Glasgow 2014 (two gold), Gold Coast 2018 (two gold)

Dame Sophie is New Zealand's most successful ever Paralympian, with 19 medals - including 11 gold - over four Games.

Pascoe lost her left leg below the knee, when she was accidentally run over by a lawn mower at the age of two, but began swimming at seven.

Under the coaching of Roly Crichton, she became New Zealand's youngest Paralympian, at 15, when she competed at Beijing 2008, where she won gold over 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley and 100m backstroke.

The following year, she was awarded the NZ Order of Merit for services to swimming. 

Sophie Pasoce celebrates gold at the Tokyo Paralympics
Sophie Pasoce celebrates gold at the Tokyo Paralympics. Photo credit: Photosport

In 2012, Dame Sophie won the inaugural Halberg Awards Disabled Sportsperson of the Year, which she has won seven times since. She also picked up the 2016 Leadership Award. 

Pascoe has also won four Commonwealth Games gold medals over 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley at both Glasgow and Gold Coast, but has scaled back her schedule to just 100m freestyle this time.

She was NZ flagbearer for the Gold Coast opening ceremony and became the youngest person appointed a Dame in this year's New Year's Honours.