This year at the Paralympic Games the New Zealand team absolutely nailed it! In fact, we came 13th place overall – rather impressive for a country with such a small population!
Sophie Pascoe, our very own swimming sensation, made history as the most successful New Zealand Paralympian ever. Sophie won gold medals in the women’s 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley, as well as silver medals in both the women’s 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle.
Nikita Howarth, New Zealand’s youngest ever Paralympian, also won multiple medals in the pool, scoring herself a gold medal in the women’s 200m individual medley and a bronze in the 50m butterfly.
Other successful New Zealand swimmers are Mary Fisher, who came first in the women’s 100m backstroke, Cameron Leslie, who earned gold in the men’s 150m individual medley, and Rebecca Dubber who won a bronze medal in the women’s 100m backstroke.
Now onto the athletic wins. Liam Malone, the dude on blades, came first in the men’s 200m sprint as well as the men’s 400m, and second in the 100m, earning him two golds and a silver medal.
Rory McSweeney also won a bronze medal in the men’s javelin throw.
Several of our female paralympians also had success in the athletic category. Anna Grimaldi won gold in the women’s long jump, Holly Robinson scored silver in the women’s javelin throw, and Jessica Hamill came in at third place in the women’s shot put event.
And lets not forget cycling duo Emma Foy and Laura Thompson who won silver in the women’s individual pursuit at the end of week one, and bronze in the women’s road race in week two.
What a fantastic couple of weeks we had at the Paralympic Games 2016 in Rio. The New Zealand team did an amazing job and managed to smash the target of 18 medals, winning 21 overall. Huge congratulations to all the athletes for their hard work and dedication, you have done our country proud!