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Pascoe considered not going to Tokyo during 'tough' 2020

Kiwi Para swimming great Sophie Pascoe has admitted she had thoughts of not attending this year's Games in Tokyo after a tough build-up caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pascoe won four medals - two golds, a silver and a bronze - in Tokyo but told Breakfast on Wednesday morning there were times she felt like she'd never get to Japan, let alone the podium.

That was in large part due to 2020 which saw the Games postponed a year; a derailment to Pascoe's campaign that was made worse by lockdowns and restrictions created in response to Covid's arrival in New Zealand.

"It was about 12 weeks out of the water," Pascoe said, confirming she also went over two years without international competition.

"Obviously, it takes a lot longer to get back fitness from being 12 weeks out of the water but a lot of that time was spent working on myself and that was more important aspect in that part of our life right then.

"A lot of the time I wasn't spending time in the water, I was working on myself and doing lots of other activities that were enjoyable as well.

"The fact I even made it to the Games was a huge achievement in itself," Pascoe said.

Sophie Pascoe celebrates with the gold medal during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Freestyle - S9 Final. Source: Getty

Breakfast host John Campbell asked Pascoe if she had thoughts of not attending the Games throughout that time to which the 19-time Paralympic medallist replied "definitely".

"I don't want to lie about that because I think that this has been the journey I have been on and it has been a struggle to even get to Tokyo.

"There were definitely times that I didn't think I was going to go or didn't think I was going to perform my best and I was really concerned about and that was even leading three weeks into going over there.

"It was such a journey in itself but to walk out with the medals that I did but more with how proud that I could hold my head high and know that I made it there and gave it absolutely everything."

Pascoe said as such her two golden moments in Tokyo will be forever timeless, especially the 100m freestyle victory which she was surprised to win.

"I think that was the best of it all - the reaction of, 'I've actually won a gold medal at these Paralympics where I didn't think there was a possibility a year ago'," she said.

"I loved that moment and I cherish that because it's a feeling you can't describe when you turn around and see the result."