Pascoe aims to continue golden run

5:01 pm on 8 September 2016

At just 23, swimmer Sophie Pascoe is already a Paralympic veteran.

The standard bearer for para-sport in New Zealand, Pascoe will be competing in her third Paralympics in Rio and looking to add to her six gold medals from Beijing and London.

Sophie Pascoe

Sophie Pascoe Photo: Photosport

Pascoe is a below-the-knee amputee after a lawnmower accident when she was two years old.

She emerged on the international stage as a 13 year old, winning a bronze medal at the International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships.

Two years later, still just 15 years old, she went on to win three gold medals and one silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics.

In London four years later she won six more medals - three gold and three silver.

This time around Pascoe is chasing five medals, in the 200m individual medley, 50m and 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly events.

h] Read about NZ's other Paralympians

She is currently ranked world number one in four of those events and holds four world records.

Sophie Pascoe

Sophie Pascoe is likely to be New Zealand's leading medal winner in Rio. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

She has 14 trainings sessions a week, splitting her time between Auckland and Christchurch, and is also studying fashion part-time.

"The Paralympic Games is our pinnacle event" she says.

"To listen to that national anthem after winning a race is a proud moment."

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