Paraplegic Ex-Marine Rows Across Pacific Ocean for Wounded Warriors

Former Marine and paraplegic long distance rower Angela Madsen plans to embark on a 50-60 day rowing journey from California to Hawaii. Her mission: to raise money for adapted boats that will accommodate people with disabilities and to inspire wounded warriors.

Her own 19-foot ocean vessel is called “The Spirit of Orlando.” It is decorated with images of fallen soldiers and will take Madsen and New Zealand trans-Atlantic rower Tara Remington on a 2,560 mile trek. The pair are set to begin at sunset on Tuesday from Long Beach and will end up on Waikiki, reports ABC affiliate in Honolulu, KITV.

Madsen was injured 16 years ago when a botched spinal surgery for injuries she sustained while serving in the Marines left her paralyzed from the waist down. 

"Our guys need to know their lives are going to be okay and they need to crank it up and find another gear and kind of move positively forward,” Madsen said, adding that rowing creates an even playing field for everyone involved. “You get out of your chair and just get on a boat and nobody knows the difference between you and anybody else out there.” 

Madsen won the bronze medal in shotput in the 2012 Paralympics and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean twice, the Indian Ocean, and circling the British Isles.


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