Erik Horrie17 October 1979
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013 World Championships – Gold
- Rio 2016 Paralympics – Silver
- London 2012 Paralympics – Silver
Erik Horrie captured his fifth World Championship title in 2018, but he continues chasing the one gold that has escaped him.
The Paralympics have not gone his way so far, finishing with back-to-back silvers at the last two editions. The Penrith local however has shown gold medal potential.
Even with the rowing distance doubled after the Rio 2016 Paralympics to 2,000m, Horrie has adjusted well. He lined up against Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi – the very man who beat him to gold in Rio – at the 2017 Worlds in Sarasota-Bradenton, USA. The Australian found redemption by finishing ahead of his rival to win the PR1 men's single sculls (PR1Mx) title.
Ahead of the 2018 Worlds in Plovdiv, Bulgaria; Polianskyi had the stronger season, winning both 2018 World Cups. In Plovdiv, the two pushed each other in the last metres of the final, with Horrie edging his rival to win in a World’s Best Time in 9:16.90, eight seconds faster than his previous mark.
Horrie was involved in a car accident at 21 years old that left him a paraplegic. He first took up wheelchair basketball and was part of the team that won the 2009 Asia-Oceania Championships. He switched to rowing in 2011 and won bronze at the Worlds that same year.
The London 2012 Games was a dramatic experience for Horrie. His partner was due to give birth, and Horrie suffered a seizure the day after his first heat and went to hospital. But he had promised himself to medal at the Games and was determined to make that happen. He did just that, winning Paralympic silver, with his son born a few days earlier.