February 15 - Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe has been named the Disabled Sportsperson of the Year at New Zealand's Halberg Awards today following her six-medal haul at London 2012 last summer.
The 20-year-old from Christchurch won three gold medals and three silver medals in London, to add to the three golds and one silver she won at the age of 15 at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Pascoe also won the inaugural award for Disabled Sportsperson of the Year last year at the Halberg Awards, which recognise the highest achievers and most influential contributors in New Zealand sport and are named after Sir Murray Halberg, the 1960 Olympic 5,000 metres champion, as well as the regional Sport Canterbury award for 2012 Supreme Sportsperson of the Year
"London was not only a great experience, but a great Games," she said.
"We [Paralympic athletes] definitely got the recognition we deserved, but it can only get better."
After losing the lower part of her left leg in a lawnmower accident when she was two-years-old, Pascoe took up swimming at the age of seven and went on to take bronze in the 200 metres individual medley SM10 at the 2006 IPC World Championships when she was 13.
She then rose to prominence in 2008, winning four medals in Beijing and being named as New Zealand's favourite Paralympian in a nationwide vote conducted by Mitsubishi Motors.
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November 2012: Paralympic swimmer Pascoe pips All Black captain to win top award
July 2012: Pascoe to lead 26-strong New Zealand team at London 2012 Paralympics
December 2011: Pascoe wins Sports Performer of the Year trophy at the Attitude Awards
June 2011: New Zealand swimmer signs meaty new sponsorship deal
March 2011: "Christchurch is crushed but my London 2012 dreams are not" says swim star Pascoe