Birgit Skarstein10 February 1989
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- Rio 2016 Paralympic Games - fourth place, women's single sculls
- 2016 World Cup Poznan - Silver women's single sculls
- 2016 World Cup Varese - Silver women's single sculls
- 2015 World Championships - Silver women's single sculls
Birgit Skarstein took up rowing in 2012 and has since then been one of the world’s best in the women’s singles sculls (ASW1x).
The Norwegian claimed third and second at World Cups in Eton, Great Britain, and Chungju, South Korea, in 2013. She rapidly improved and, one year later, won the World Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Skarstein could not maintain her level in 2015, winning silver at the World Championships in Aiguebelette, France and finishing second at a World Cup in Varese, Italy.
She was hoping to climb onto the Paralympic podium in Rio for the first time after securing another second place at a World Cup in Poznan, Poland, in the months leading-up to the Games.
The Norwegian injured her left leg whilst jumping into a lake in 2010. During treatment in her country, she received an epidural injection in her back that accidentally injured the spinal cord, paralysing her from the waist down.
Skarstein studied political science at the University of Oslo and works as a curator for the Global Shapers Community Organisation and as a consultant for the Norwegian Olympic Committee.
She is a member of the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board and Oslo City Council, where she is involved in projects on accessibility and disability awareness.
When she is not on the slopes, working or rowing, Skarstein enjoys mountain climbing, sports and writing.