The standard-bearer for Para sport in New Zealand, Sophie Pascoe is a national treasure.

A nine-time Paralympic gold medallist and multiple World Champion, the Cantabrian swimmer has the weight of a nation's expectations upon her when she hit the pool in Rio for what was her third Paralympic appearance.

Sophie won five medals and broke a world record while taking her total tally to 15 Paralympic medals. This success has now made Sophie the most decorated New Zealand Paralympian ever!

A below the knee amputee following a lawnmower accident at two years of age, Sophie first revealed her future ability competing at the CCS Independence Games when Paralympians Roly Crichton and Graham Condon were impressed by Sophie's potential and asked her to join the QEII Swim Club.

From there the Kiwi star - who has been coached for the past 14 years by Crichton - made rapid progress bagging a bronze medal on her international debut aged just 13 at the IPC Swimming World Championships in South Africa.

It was this performance which "fast-forwarded" her career and just two years later surprised many to truly emerge on the international stage by securing three gold and one silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.

Suddenly thrust into the public spotlight, the Halberg award-winning Sophie has continued to flourish.

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Sophie's Games History