News Release

Latter-day Saint Swimmer Wins Gold for New Zealand in Tokyo Paralympics

Auckland athlete takes first place in backstroke

Paralympian Tupou Neiufi struck gold for New Zealand’s Paralympic team in the 100 metres women’s backstroke in Tokyo on Friday 27 August 2021.

Neiufu, 20, is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she and her family are members of the Massey Park Ward (congregation) in South Auckland, New Zealand.

She was injured by a hit and run driver when she was two years old and suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in the paralysis of her left side. She spent years in therapy learning how to walk again. When she was nine, one of her therapists suggested swimming. She tried it and loved it, and has been competing ever since.


Her mum, Lose, is of Tongan New Zealand heritage. She believes that her daughter has benefitted from the strong support of her siblings, parents and large extended family.

Lose also believes that her daughter’s faith has helped her get through her challenging path to the medal podium in Tokyo.

“Tupou's journey hasn't been easy. She has had many ups and downs in her life. Her faith and dedication has allowed her to not only carry out her responsibilities as a daughter of our Heavenly Father, but also go out and perform representing Him.”

Paralympian Tupou Neiufi with her family in New Zealand. August 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“She has stayed true to herself and the gospel, as she knows that our Heavenly Father has blessed her with her talents and will always be there to comfort her no matter how deep she falls down. Heavenly Father is her top priority.”

Additional Resources

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