15 Sep 2016

Pascoe struggling to relax after Rio success

8:45 am on 15 September 2016

Coming to grips with time off rather than her success is proving the biggest challenge for New Zealand's most decorated paralympic athlete Sophie Pascoe.

Pascoe's Rio paralympic campaign is over having won five medals, three of them gold, to give her 15 career games medals - nine gold in total.

Sophie Pascoe

Sophie Pascoe won five medals, three of them gold, in Rio. Photo: Photosport

Her Rio haul saw surpass the legendary Eve Rimmer as New Zealand's most successful paralympic athlete.

Pascoe says waking up in Rio the day after her final race was a strange experience.

"It has been quite hard today I haven't known what to do with myself...you know you've been training for this for four years and so to be finally completely finished it is quite hard to sit back and relax."

Pascoe said she is looking forward to some time out of the pool.

"I'm more than happy enough to stay away from water at this stage. It will be hard as I am used to being in a routine...but hey it's also nice to know I've completed my challenge and I deserve a break."

"I have just done ten races in five days and I have given it everything and my body is definitely feeling it."

Sophie Pascoe

Sophie Pascoe is looking forward to time away from the pool. Photo: Photosport

While proud to have surpassed Rimmer's medal tally it's not a milestone that motivated her, saying she only learnt of the feat when she got out the pool after winning her third gold medal of the Rio Games, in the 100 metre butterfly.

"To know that I am the most decorated Paralympian of all time is pretty special but it hasn't quite sunk in yet and it most probably won't until I get back home and reflect on what's happened," said Pascoe.

"It's all been such a whirlwind with ten races in five days and to have spent four years building up for only a few minutes of racing, yeah, it just hasn't sunk in."

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