> Skip to content

Article  •  20 March 2018

 

Go girl profile - Sophie Pascoe

If Sophie said, ‘I can’t do that,’ they’d say, ‘Why not try it and see?’Nine times out of ten, Sophie could do whatever it was.

Sophie Pascoe | Swimmer

Born 1993 in Christchurch, New Zealand
 

Once there was a two-year-old called Sophie, who was as lively and full of beans as two-year-olds are meant to be. She lived near Christchurch city. One day, when her dad was using the ride-on lawn mower, Sophie ran after it and he didn’t see her. There was a terrible accident to the little girl’s legs.

Her dad rushed Sophie to hospital. The surgeons saved her right leg though it had bad scars. Her left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

The family was devastated.

But when Sophie began to recover, her mum and dad and her loving big sister decided it would be wrong to let her doubt herself. They’d treat her just like they had before.

If Sophie said, ‘I can’t do that,’ they’d say, ‘Why not try it and see?’

Nine times out of ten, Sophie could do whatever it was.

Even before she had an artificial leg fitted, Sophie brimmed over with beans again — scrambling around, climbing jungle gyms, getting into mischief, powering on.

She started school. With her artificial leg, she ran in a five-year-old’s race — and came first against all the kids who had two whole legs.

Then Sophie wanted to try swimming. At first all the other kids were better than her. Her mum hunted out a good coach to help.

The very first race Sophie entered after that, she won. Her swimming career started powering on.

By the time Sophie was nine, her grandad asked her to make him a promise: When you’re older, compete in the Paralympics and win a gold medal.

For six more years, Sophie trained. Often she was exhausted. Sometimes her injuries still hurt. She kept powering on.

At last she was selected to swim for New Zealand at the Paralympic Games. She won a gold medal. Oh, wait — make that three gold medals and a silver.

She won more medals in later Paralympics. She’s also won gold and silver medals in World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.

Sophie has changed the way people think about para sport. And so far she has won nine gold medals for her grandad, and that’s only counting from the Paralympics.

 

Artwork by Phoebe Morris.

Feature Title

Go Girl
A stunning illustrated storybook for the girls of New Zealand with a powerful can-do message!
Read more

More features

See all
Article
Go girl profile - Kate Sheppard

'We rely on our husbands to choose the politicians for us.’Kate smiled politely and thought 'Rubbish.'

Article
A sneak peek at our 2021 kids books!

After an exhausting and unusual 2020, we’ve got plenty of reasons to be grateful for a new year, not least because of the stellar line up of children’s books we have coming your way over the next few months!Read on for a sneak peek at some of the best new children’s books we’re bringing to you in 2021.

Book clubs
Short story club – 19 April 2018

Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 19 April 2018

Activity
Taking the Lead: downloadable activity

Download our Taking the Lead word search here!

Activity
Hero of the Sea: activity

Use the key to unlock the secret message!

Q&A
Q&A with David Hill and Phoebe Morris

The co-creators of Hero of the Sea interview each other about writing, illustrating and their latest collaboration.

Article
How to get your sparkle back

Meg Bignell, author of The Sparkle Pages, shares her ten tips for being your best sparkly self.

Article
Generate a husband

Generate a husband in honour of Holly Gramazio’s debut novel, The Husbands.

Article
Get School Holiday Ready!

Books and activities for the kids these school holidays

Article
Books to keep older kids busy this Easter

Easter is just around the corner, and more and more parents are opting to gift books instead of chocolate.

Article
How well do you know Formula 1?

Author and motorsport journalist Andrew van Leeuwen shares some surprising facts (and fictions) about the sport.

Article
What we'll be reading on the long weekend . . .

A long weekend means bonus reading time! Here's what the PRH team recommend picking up this easter break.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles