125th anniversary of Suffrage in New Zealand

Sophie Pascoe wins her first medal

8 September 2008

Sophie Pascoe at 2021 Paralympics
Sophie Pascoe at 2021 Paralympics (International Paralympic Committee)

On 8 September 2008, Sophie Pascoe won her first Paralympic medal, a silver in the women’s 100m butterfly S10 event at the Beijing Paralympics. She had placed second in her heat that morning, behind France’s Elodie Lorandi, qualifying for the final with the fourth fastest time. In the final that evening, Pascoe shaved a second and a half off her heat time to come second to American Anna Eames.

The 15-year-old was just getting started – she went on to win golds in the 100m backstroke S10, 100m breaststroke SB9 and 200m individual medley SM10.

Pascoe is New Zealand’s most successful Paralympian. By 2021 she had won 19 medals (11 gold, seven silver and one bronze) and had held the world record for nine S10 women’s events. The S10 category is for people with minimal weakness in their legs, a missing foot or leg below the knee, or hip problems. Pascoe had her left leg amputated below the knee after an accident when she was two years old.

Since 2008, Pascoe has gained recognition as one of New Zealand’s most successful athletes. In 2018 she was the New Zealand flagbearer at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. A six-time winner of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation Disabled Sportsperson of the Year, she was also a finalist for Sportswoman of the Year in 2008 and 2009.

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about Sophie Pascoe wins her first medal

What do you know?