Lauren Rowles is set to make her Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games – just over a year after taking up the sport.
The former wheelchair athlete first tried rowing in early 2015 after a chance meeting with GB Rowing Team staff at Stoke Mandeville Sports Centre.
But by the end of the season she had helped to qualify the trunk-arms mixed double scull boat for the Paralympic Games and will be looking to continue her remarkable rise in Rio.
Lauren teamed up with Laurence Whiteley to enjoy a remarkable debut at the 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
Despite their brief time together, Lauren and Laurence became the first GB crew to qualify for Rio 2016 as they won their repechage. They then went on to produce a fantastic performance in the final, winning silver as they finished just half-a-second behind Australia.
Prior to racing on water, Lauren was a wheelchair track athlete and competed for England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in the T53/54 1,500m. She was also crowned England under-16s champion at 100m, 200m and 1,500m during 2014 and captained the Midlands at the UK School Games
In February 2012 Lauren lost the use of her legs when she was diagnosed with a rare paralysing condition which developed overnight. However, she was determined to maintain an active lifestyle and started searching for para-sport opportunities after leaving hospital in July of that year.
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