Tupou was first identified by Paralympics New Zealand in 2011 as part of our Para Swimming Talent Identification programme. She was then quickly selected by High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) to their ‘Pathway to Podium’ programme. This programme provides sport services and support to promising athletes, with a goal of having them ‘carded’ within 1-3 years.
2016 was a huge year for Tupou seeing her selected to the New Zealand Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Team. At only 15 years of age she made her Paralympic debut in fantastic style placing 7th in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S9.
Tupou was a member of the New Zealand Paralympic team that won a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists in Rio 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).
Most recently Tupou competed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games for the first time competing in front of huge audiences she placed 6th in the Women's 100m Backstroke S9.
Tupou trains at the Howick Pakuranga Swim Club under the guidance of her coach Sheldon Kemp.
Tupou was hit by a speeding car when she was just two years old, which has resulted in a left sided hemiplegia, meaning she has paralysis on the left side of her body. She is the eldest of seven children and she has always been driven and determined both in and out of the pool.
"BElieve in YOUrself" - Believe in yourself, but most importantly be you!
Key international events include:
Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships - 9 to 13 August 2018