Katie O’Brien Para Rower: Galway Girl, Going for Gold

ByJoanne Murphy |

Katie O’Brien from Galway is a Para rower with her eyes and heart set on a gold medal at the Paralympics in Paris in 2024. Born with a severe case of spina bifida, which affected her left leg and parts of the left side of her body, she has excelled in rowing in recent years after picking up the sport in her mid-teens.  Rowing for years in a single boat, she was on the lookout for a male partner to join her on her paralympic journey so she could try to qualify to represent her home of Clarinbridge, her club and county of Galway and of course her country on the highest stage possible in sport.

Her journey has ebbed and flowed along the way, but Katie has powered through each obstacle, winning multiple medals and accolades, Katie represents Ireland in the PR2 W1x category and is a member of Galway Rowing Club, she previously rowed for UCD, whilst studying to become a Vet, her second passion in life, rowing being her first.

She took up rowing in 2013, after successfully rowing for a number of years she took a break during her college years and upon her return has once again begun to excel in the sport.  She won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz, prior to that she finished 6th in the A Final in the World Rowing Cup in 2013 in Eton, she has also won gold at the Henley Women’s Regatta and at the Home International Regatta and has also set two world records on ERG, the first in 2015 over 1km the second over 2k in 2021.

Katie’s positive attitude and passion for success sees no stone unturned in the pursuit of her goals in sport and in life. Her determination is fierce and her focus is fixed, there is no stopping her, she is a star on the rise and this Galway girl is going all in on her pursuit of a gold medal at Paris 2024.



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