Each time I go swimming at Dudley Park in Rangiora I pass a t-shirt signed by multiple gold medal winning Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe. Not surprisingly I find this very inspiring. Therefore as soon as I heard she had an autobiography coming out I put myself on the hold list. The book arrived for me last week and it proved to be a fascinating read.
I read quite a few sports autobiographies and sometimes find they don’t go into as much detail in some areas as you might like. This is not the case with Sophie – her book is refreshingly open, honest and full of personality.
Although only 20 years old Sophie – from Halswell – has crammed a lot into her life. In the first chapter, her father Garry talks candidly and movingly about the horrific lawnmower accident which led to her lower left leg being amputated. Becoming an elite athlete while still at school presented unique challenges and opportunities – including opening a building at her school named in her honour while still a student there. In particular, I found it really interesting to read about the dedication and sacrifices needed to compete at the top level, as well as the will to win and the frustration of coming second. Her hope for the future are also discussed.
Who would like this book? Anyone! Whether you are interested in sport, Cantabrians, biography, those overcoming adversity, interesting personalities or simply curious this is a worthwhile read.
If you are interested in any aspect of swimming have a look at our swimming resources page.
Who inspires you? Have you read any memorable biographies or autobiographies this year?