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Sophie Pascoe: Beautiful inside and out

In our series ‘Beautiful inside and out’, Sophie Pascoe shares what inspires her.

By Kelly Bertrand
On the surface, they're all different – a cross-section of sensational women of varying ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. They are all stunning, that's for certain, but their beauty is not the sole reason the Weekly has gathered together Jude Dobson, Samantha Hayes, Dame Rosie Horton, Miriama Kamo and Sophie Pascoe. The reason is more than skin-deep – they're here because these five incredible women are making a tangible difference in the lives of others.
Some are just beginning to dip their toes in the water, while others have made charity their life's work – each taking a stand in her own way, and proving that their beauty does indeed come from within. Here, 10-time Paralympic swimming medallist Sophie Pascoe shares her definition of beauty.
What causes do you stand for?
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is a charitable organisation that prepares and leads Kiwi teams to international competitions and the Paralympic Games. It encourages those living with disabilities to participate in sports at all levels. At the moment, it's launching the team's "One year to go" to the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics with a campaign to help raise funds and to increase interest in Parasport.
Why do you support it?
Because PNZ has supported me every step of the way, and made it possible for me to compete for and win Paralympic medals. I started my swimming career at the age of 11. To be able to do what you love every day and help inspire people to achieve their goals is a pretty incredible feeling.
To you, what makes a person beautiful?
Being confident in yourself and your actions. And a good smile!
When do you feel at your most beautiful?
I feel beautiful when I am around the people who love and support me. But I do love putting on a beautiful dress – I spend most of my time in sportswear, so it makes a nice change!
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by seeing people achieve their goals. It motivates me to keep pushing myself and not give up.
What makes you happy?
First and foremost, my family and friends. I love spending as much time with them as I can with my busy schedule. Also, knowing that your work and dedication has paid off is an amazing feeling.
What do you think the world needs more of?
Acceptance. Everyone is different in this world and that's what makes it special. We should be celebrating that, instead of making judgments of others.
Who do you admire the most?
My mother and nana. I'm proud to be their daughter and granddaughter, and I hope when I have my own kids, they feel the same way about me.

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