Paralympians welcomed home

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 17:28 12/10/2012
sophie bob strap
John Kirk-Anderson

WELCOME: Bob Parker and Sophie Pascoe laugh after Pascoe's hair became trapped in the mayoral chains.

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Canterbury's Paralympians have been hailed as "great athletes and inspirational figures" at a hometown welcome.

Swimmer Sophie Pascoe, who won three gold medals and three silver medals, and equestrian Anthea Gunner were welcomed back to Christchurch at the city council's offices today.

Mayor Bob Parker praised Pascoe and Gunner for their efforts and said the New Zealand team's success was "bloody stunning".

"We are so proud of all of you. You are at the top of the world. You're great athletes and inspirational figures."

Pascoe said she had received a warm welcome from the city's residents after her return from the London Paralympics.

"I carry one medal with me when I'm out just in case anyone comes up to me and wants to chat because it's nice to be able to show them a piece of what they've supported."

She was taking a break from the pool but planned to resume training early next month. 

Gunner said it was "really cool" to be welcomed back, and she was still adjusting to being back in Christchurch after training hard for London.

"You build up for it for so long and then you get there and it's happening, and everything just goes so quickly."

Her horse was still in quarantine but she planned to start riding again soon before the national championships in February.

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- The Press

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