Success Story: Olympic Gold Medalist Rowing Esther Lofgren

 Esther Lofgren: Olympic gold medalist rowing: Story of success created by following the dictum of Harder Better Faster Stronger Esther Ruth Lofgren was born on 28th February 1985, in Long Beach, California. She is an American rower and an Olympic gold medalist. She won gold medal in the women’s eight at the 2012 Summer Games in London. Lofgren is a graduate of Harvard University, where she rowed for Radcliffe Crew and was a two-time All-American. She is an eight-time member of the U.S. National Rowing Team, a current World Record holder in the women’s eight, and a seven-time World Championship medalist.

Esther Lofgren began her athletic career as a AYSO soccer player at age 5. Born to two elite rowers, Esther grew up around rowing, but tried nearly every other sport–not just soccer but also basketball, volleyball, track and field, cross-country, badminton, and tennis–before picking up an oar for the first time as a high school sophomore at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, California.

The gangly, 13-year-old Lofgren–nicknamed “Chicken Legs”–was far from the strongest or fastest on the team her first season rowing, but she developed a deep love for the sport. Esther progressed by her senior year to become one of the top recruits in the country, and her concurrent academic achievements landing her an acceptance letter to Harvard University.

At Harvard, Esther rowed for the storied D1 women’s program, Radcliffe Crew, under legendary coach Liz O’Leary. She was a two-time All-American, helping the team to two NCAA Championship appearances.

esther lofgren

As a college freshman, Esther was invited to try out for her first Under-23 National Team. She was cut from the camp, but returned the next year and not only made the 2006 Under-23 team and won gold in the eight, but was also invited to try out for the U.S. Senior National Team, earning a seat and winning bronze in the four in London–on the race course where she would one day win Olympic Gold! Esther won another Under-23 World Championship in 2007, the only time a U.S. women’s sculling crew has ever won gold.

A long shot to make the 2008 Olympic team, Esther came tantalizingly close to accomplishing just that, and was the last woman cut from the squad that went on to win gold in Beijing. But again, being cut only fueled the fire to achieve her dream. She set out to earn a spot on the team.

Four years later, after two more World Championship titles, Esther found herself sitting in “the engine room” of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Eight, the boat she’d worked for seven long years to be a part of. In a dominating performance, the crew led their entire race to take gold ahead of Canada and the Netherlands. It was a dream come true for Esther and her teammates.

Lofgren continues to compete nationally and internationally, most recently at the 2013 World Rowing Championships, training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Esther Lofgren is world leading and highly accomplished rower, Olympic gold medalist 2012, Twice gold medalist Rowing World Championships and member of the U.S. National Rowing Team a Current World Record holder in the women’s eight in conversation with Namita Nayyar, President Women Fitness.

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