See You In Sarasota: Meet Hallie Smith

For today’s installment of Get to Know Your 2017 National Team, we are introducing PR1 women’s single sculler, Hallie Smith.

After winning the PR1 women’s single at the 2017 Senior Team Trials earlier this month, Hallie secured her spot on the team.

Hallie rows as a PR1 athlete (formerly arms and shoulders). This sport class is for athletes who row predominately with their arms and shoulders. Athletes use strapping around their mid section to provide support and stability in the boat.

Examples of PR1 impairments include (but are not limited to):

  • Ataxia, athetosis or hypertonia from CP, brain injury or stroke who use a wheelchair, with both legs and the trunk involved
  • Loss of muscle strength equivalent to complete spinal cord injury at T12 level

Fast Facts:

  • This is Hallie’s first U.S. National Team
  • Hallie was born and raised in Washington, D.C.
  • She received her undergraduate education at Smith College

Follow Hallie on her journey to Worlds on her Instagram, @SmithOnWheels.

Q: Who inspires you?

A: My biggest athletic inspiration has always been wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden. She’s an amazing athlete in multiple sports and a really nice person.

Q: What has been your biggest success outside of rowing?

A: Graduating college. I had to leave halfway through the first semester is my junior year when my genetic disorder manifested, and I went back just three months after I became fully paralyzed.  It was pretty tough to adjust to paralyzed life while in school, but I had great support and it was worth it.

Q: What is your rowing memory?

A: Winning national team trials! I know it’s a predictable answer, but I was really intimidated going up against Jacqui Kapinowski and winning the race felt great.

Q: In what ways has rowing helped in your life, outside the boat?

A: Rowing really helped me regain a feeling of control in my life. For the first time since I was paralyzed, my body wasn’t a hindrance.

Q: As an athlete, what is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who gave it to you?

A: My coaches with the MedStar Paralympic Sport Club always tell me to row my own race. I can’t control anyone else out there on the water, so I need to go out and do what I know works for me, even if it’s different than what someone else is doing.

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