Blake Haxton

Blake Haxton

The Backstory:
Blake Haxton rowed in able-bodied events until his senior year of high school, when a flesh-eating disease led to the amputation of both legs. He recovered in time to start at Ohio State University the next fall, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance and gaining admission to the Ohio State law school. He continued rowing throughout his education, making the U.S. National Team in 2014 and qualifying for the 2016 Rio Paralympics, where he barely missed a medal. Haxton is the only member of Team USA who is competing in two separate sports (rowing and paracanoe) in Tokyo.

Away from rowing:
Haxton is credentialized as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and works in investment research.

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.”

Learn More:
Team USA Page
IPC 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”


Prior Paralympics: 2016



  • Sports: Rowing, Paracanoe
  • Limb Difference: Bilateral above knee
  • DOB: 12/17/90
  • Residence: Upper Arlington, OH
  • College: Ohio State
  • Classification: PR1 (rowing), VR2 (paracanoe)