Despite having a spinal surgery last Tuesday, I was determined not to miss our amazing NZ Paralympians arrive into Auckland airport after their phenomenal performances at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Four years ago I did the same thing when they arrived from London. Being able to hold World and Paralympic Champion Sophie Pascoe's haul of medals at the time when I was only 8 years old was a huge buzz. Now 4 years later I am a competitive swimmer with my own Paralympic dreams. It was great to welcome Sophie once again and several of my other Paralympic friends last week and congratulate them on their success, not only at the airport but at a private function the following day. I am lucky to know so many Paralympians and their success motivates me every day when I get in the pool. I hope to do NZ proud in the future and become a successful New Zealand Paralympian.