Rowing Is Her Passion
Now a six-time Guinness World Record holder in rowing, Angela Madsen, an L2 para, knew nothing about rowing when growing up in Fairborn, Ohio. But she did love swimming and diving. “I’ve been an athlete all my life,” she says. “I was 6 feet tall by the time I reached sixth grade.”
After high school she joined the Marines and was stationed in California. “I took up surfing, which kept me from moving back to Ohio.” She also joined the Women’s All Marine Corps basketball team, but she was injured during a game.
“I fell forward and someone landed on my back,” says Madsen, now 55. “The accident ended my military career, but I could walk.” Thirteen years later, her back needed surgery, but a mistake occurred. “The wrong disc was removed and my spinal cord was compromised in the surgery.”
Madsen credits adapted sports for her ability to move on. “I was two years post-op before I found out about adaptive sports,” she says. She started with wheelchair basketball and then discovered rowing, winning gold in the Rowing National Championships 2000 through 2008. In 2008, she made h