New Zealand swim star Pascoe pulls out of Paris Paralympics

olympics29 April 2024 09:27| © Reuters
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Sophie Pascoe © Getty Images

New Zealand's most decorated Paralympian Sophie Pascoe announced Monday that she will not compete at the Paralympic Games in Paris, after becoming a mother.

The 31-year-old announced the birth of her first child earlier this month.

The elite swimmer, who has won 19 medals including 11 golds at four Paralympics, pulled out of this year's Games, running from 28 August to 8 September.

"Although I'll miss the opportunity to represent New Zealand in Paris, this decision comes as a result of recently becoming a new mother and I am wholeheartedly embracing this new chapter in my life," she said in a statement.

Pascoe said she plans to use her experience and knowledge to help the New Zealand team prepare, but is not quitting her sport.

"This is not an announcement of retirement from competitive swimming, rather I am looking ahead to potential competitions in 2025 and beyond," she added.

Having started her Paralympics career with three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Pascoe won freestyle and individual medley golds in Tokyo three years ago.

She was made a Dame in 2022 for her services to swimming.