Paralympic rowing star Angela Madsen dies during solo Pacific crossing | Rowing

Angela Madsen, whose remarkable life captivated the Marines, a series of gold medals and record-breaking rowing trips, died while attempting a solo trip from California to Hawaii.

The death of the 60-year-old woman was confirmed by his wife, Deb Madsen, in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “With extreme sadness,” he wrote, “I must announce that Angela Madsen will not complete her solo row in Hawaii.”

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Deb said he had received the latest news from his wife, who was heading from Los Angeles to Honolulu in a 20-foot rowboat, by text message on Saturday. Angela had said she was going to enter the water to complete some maintenance. Deb said she was concerned when Angela stopped responding and the US Coast Guard. USA She finally located her body.

“The [spotter] the plane saw Angela in the water, apparently deceased, tied to RowofLife, but was unable to transmit that information due to poor satellite coverage, “Deb wrote on the Facebook page. The body has now been recovered.

Soraya Simi, who was making a documentary about the crossing, said the news surprised her.

“This is the heaviest moment of my life,” Simi said in a statement to the Southern California News Group. “I am very sorry and sad to write this. I know many of you were cheering her on and wanted her to succeed. “

Madsen led a remarkable life. He joined the Marines after his brothers told him he would not be joining the army. However, she hurt her back while playing for the Marines basketball team, and mistakes in subsequent surgery left her in a wheelchair. Her marriage fell apart later and at one point she lived on the streets.

However, after starting to row, Madsen won several gold medals at the world rowing championships. He continued to paddle across the Indian and Atlantic oceans and also circled Britain in his boat. He started his current trip in April and hoped to complete it in July.

Madsen’s athletic talents were not limited to rowing: he also won a bronze medal in shot putting at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

He also established a program for disabled rowers in California. “I wanted to create an opportunity for people with disabilities to row,” he said. “It is one of the most inclusive activities that people can do. We paddle three days a week and we do it throughout the year. It’s completely free for people with disabilities. “

Madsen was also active away from the sports arena. She was an LGBTQ rights activist and was a great quarterback for the Long Beach Pride Parade in 2015.

Simi said Madsen understood the danger involved in the 2,500-mile trip. “It was a clear risk from day one, and Angela knew that more than anyone,” said Simi. “I was willing to die at sea doing what I loved the most.”