Blake Haxton knew rowing was the sport for him when he started competing in high school, and though his life dramatically changed in his senior year his commitment to the sport didn’t. One evening he started experiencing muscle soreness in his right calf that caused him to go to his doctor, then immediately to the ER. Haxton had contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, which led to the amputation of both legs, major organ failure, and over 20 surgeries during his 3-month hospital stay. Determined to move forward, he started at Ohio State University the next fall, earned his B.S. in Finance and went on to attend Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. He rejoined the rowing world, making the U.S. National Team and the 2016 Paralympic Team, where he took home 5th place. At the 2017 World Championships he earned 6th place, followed by placing 4th at the 2018 World Championships. Haxton has already earned his spot at the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Away from rowing:
Over the years Haxton has stayed to his education and career goals, earning his B.S. in Finance in 2013, as well as Juris Doctor in 2016 from Ohio State. In 2019, he added Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) to his list of credentials. He is currently working at Diamond Hill Capital Management as Investment Research Associate.
In their own words:
“There’s not anyone around. You’re in the middle of the lake, and I had this very solitary moment out there. I had finished rowing the course and cooled down. I was very much alone for the next five or six minutes. I just kept telling myself: “Man, you made the U.S. team. You made the U.S. team! No way.”
“Competition was always there in some fashion. After I got sick, it all kind of went away. There are so few outlets to really physically compete and really push yourself to try and win. Getting that back was just fantastic.”
“At the start at all of the international races, they pull the crews…It’s a fair warning that the race is about to start. They go lane by lane, but they don’t say your name. They say your country. I was in Lane 6, and I’ll never forget it, in my first race. They got to Lane 6, and it was “the United States of America,” and they were talking about me. That was one of the proudest moments of my life. When you get it once, you really don’t want to give it back.”
Team USA Page
Team USA: “Already Tokyo Bound In Rowing, Blake Haxton Is Now Going To The Paralympics In Sprint Canoe Too”
The Ohio State University: “An Indelible Spirit: A Conversation With Para-rower Blake Haxton”
614 Now: “The Interview Issue: Paralympic Rower Blake Haxton”
- Sport: Rowing
- Limb Difference:
- DOB: 12/17/90
- Residence: Upper Arlington, OH
- College: Ohio State U.
- Previous Games: 2016|
- Classification: PR1