Swimmer Sophie Pascoe won the inaugural Disabled Sportsperson of the Year award at the 2011 Halberg Awards, as a result of winning two gold medals in world record times at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships. She won the award again in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021, and was also nominated for Sportswoman of the Year in both 2008 and 2009. Pascoe won three gold medals and one silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, and three gold and three silver medals at the 2012 London Paralympics. In 2016 she won three gold and two silver medals at the Rio Paralympics, making her New Zealand’s most successful Olympian. In 2020 she added two golds, a silver and a bronze. Pascoe has also twice won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, in 2014 and 2018.
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Photograph by Hannah Johnston
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