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Editor’s Letter

Welcome to Issue 22

Injury can leave one feeling both incapacitated and incarcerated. Trapped inside a broken body, emotions spiral within just a few days of forced withdrawal from training. Imagine facing a lifetime of it. That was the reality that hit a vibrant, energetic 19 year-old Norwegian, Birgit Skarstein, when an arbitrary mistake during a routine operation permanently robbed her of the ability to use her legs. Far from succumbing to her tragic misfortune, Skarstein – who also skis – has gone on to compete at both the summer and winter Paralympics, win the PR1 women’s single sculls final at the 2017 World Rowing Championships and most recently carried the Norwegian flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang winter Paralympics.

Her story is one of remarkable strength, resilience and powerful optimism: just a few of the reasons why she is this issue’s cover story. Mental ill-health can be just as debilitating as a physical impairment. In this issue we meet Chris Tippin, a man who believes his job coaching rowing at the University of Florida saved him from severe depression. Alejandro Lopez tells the story in How To Save A Life. Tom Terhaar, considered by many to be the world’s best rowing coach, is the US women’s head coach. He led his eight to three consecutive Olympic gold medals between 2008 and 2016 and on a record 11-year unbeaten world championship/Olympic streak between 2006 and 2016. Terhaar is famous for shunning the limelight – and press attention. But he did agree to give an interview to his ex-athlete and double Olympic gold medallist Caryn Davies. You can read her excellent interview with Terhaar on page 62.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.