Team Sanofi Athlete
Age: 24 years old
Nationality: Great Britain
Cause: Advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.
Lauren Rowles is a British parasport rower. She won gold with teammate Laurence Whiteley in the mixed double sculls at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Lauren uses her platform to share her personal growth journey with an aim to inspire others.
At the age of 13, Lauren suddenly developed transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that interrupts the messages that the spinal cord nerves send throughout the body, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. From there, she spent the following eight months in hospitals and rehabilitation units trying to regain the use of her legs. Despite being left physically impaired from Transverse Myelitis, Lauren was determined to make it as an athlete at the Paralympic Games just as she had dreamed of as a young girl.
She began her career as an elite athlete aged just 14 after she was inspired by the London 2012 Paralympic Games, quickly finding a talent in wheelchair track racing before transitioning to Rowing in 2015. Lauren is now a World, European and two-time Paralympic Games rowing champion currently training to represent the Great Britain Paralympic Team in Paris 2024.
Lauren continues to build her legacy on and off the water. Her experience provides valuable learnings around mental resilience, facing adversity and accomplishing your goals. Through her work as an inclusion consultant and public figure within the disability & LGBTQ+ community, she aims to challenge perceptions of disability, gender and sexuality while ensuring greater inclusion for the next generation in sports.
WORLD TRACK RECORD
- Paralympic Games Champion 2016 & 2020
- World Cup Gold Medalist 2021
- European Champion 2021
- 1k World Record Holder
- World Champion 2019
- World Cup Silver Medalist 2019 & 2017
- Senior World Championship Silver Medalist in 2015