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Shock, tears and beaming with pride: Sophie Pascoe's family couldn't be happier with flagbearer announcement

Keeping the news you're going to be New Zealand's Commonwealth Games flagbearer a secret from your parents must be hard, but it's a surprise that Jo and Garry Pascoe will never forget. 

Sophie Pascoe managed to keep the secret so well her family didn't buy tickets to the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Source: 1 NEWS

Beaming with pride, Sophie Pascoe's family were wrapped in a whirlwind after New Zealand's chef de mission Rob Waddell announced her as New Zealand's GC2018 flagbearer yesterday.

Watch the Opening Ceremony LIVE on TVNZ1 from 10pm tonight

The Paralympian swimmer’s aunt and uncle beam with pride after she was announced as NZ’s Commonwealth Games flagbearer. Source: 1 NEWS

It came as such a surprise they hadn't even bought tickets to tonight's Opening Ceremony. 

Speaking to media after the announcement Pascoe said she found it tough keeping the secret from her mum and dad for weeks.

But they haven't held it against her.

"It was just a total surprise and we were so proud," said her mother.

The Kiwi swimmer is our most successful Paralympian ever, and will lead 253 NZ athletes into Gold Coast's Carrara Stadium tomorrow night Source: 1 NEWS

"She works very hard, and I think she deserves what she gets," said Pascoe's father.

"You only get out of life what you put into it, and she's put a mountain into it."

The 25-year-old Cantabrian is New Zealand's most successful paralympian, and one of our most decorated Kiwi athletes with two Commonwealth Gold medals from Glasgow, and a staggering 15 medals from various Paralympics.  

Since the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, Pascoe splits a lot of her time between Christchurch and Auckland, where she trains at the Millenium Institute and stays with her aunt and uncle Karen and Murray Triggs, enjoying their company, chocolate and cooking. 

"What a tremendous thing for Paralympic sport to have a paralympian marching out into that arena holding the New Zealand flag. It's really bringing the sports closer together," said Pascoe's proud Aunty Karen.

Not only does she hope Pascoe becomes a uniting figure in New Zealand sport, Karen hopes the success of the Cantabrian swimmer will lead to a new pool in Christchurch.

"It's just a joy to have Sophie stay at our place, but unfortunately Christchurch still doesn't have a 50m pool, I'm just hoping that this will be an inspiration to the Christchurch leaders to actually do something about it.

"Because Sophie is such an inspiration and a role model to those young swimmers."

You can watch Pascoe lead New Zealand into the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games tonight live on TVNZ1 from 9.30pm. 

Pascoe's faamily plan to watch the event from ANZ New Zealand House in tears, and beaming with pride.