All About Rower Kaitlin Knifton’s Parents

Professional rower Kaitlin Knifton will compete for the United States at the 2024 Olympics. She was born to her parents Matt Knifton and Aleksandra Sleziak Knifton who are very supportive of Kaitlin’s journey. She is an excellent paddler who has won many medals in junior rowing events.

Kaitlin was chosen to represent the United States in the 2024 Paris Olympics due to her outstanding canoeing skills.

Knifton, Mazzio-Manson named to USRowing Olympic Team

Former University of Texas rowers Kate Knifton and Daisy Mazzio-Manson have been chosen to represent the United States in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The USRowing organization announced on Monday that Knifton and Mazzio-Manson will be part of the 13-athlete women’s eight and four teams that will compete in the Paris Olympics.

This will make Knifton and Mazzio-Manson the second and third Longhorns to compete in rowing at the Olympic Games. They will join Texas Athletics Hall of Honor member and current assistant coach Gia Doonan, who represented the USA at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Kaitlin Knifton Date of Birth, Her Supportive Parents, and Education

Kaitlin Knifton was born on July 5, 2000, in Austin, Texas. She is the daughter of Matt Knifton and Aleksandra Sleziak Knifton. Both of her parents were very supportive of Kaitlin’s journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

From a young age, Kaitlin would watch her father row. Her father was a former University of Texas student who competed on club and national teams after college. He encouraged Kaitlin to follow in his footsteps. However, before taking up rowing, Kaitlin was a dancer for most of her life.

Kaitlin Knifton Parents
Image: Kaitlin Knifton’s parents on their trips to Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania (Source: Matt Knifton’s Instagram)

Kaitlin’s father was a rower on the club team at the University of Texas and also rowed on the national team after college. He currently owns a rowing club in Austin called the Texas Rowing Center, where Kaitlin rowed during high school. It was in her sophomore year of high school that her father finally convinced Kaitlin to try rowing, and she has loved it ever since. Her father is one of her personal heroes.

In addition to owning the Texas Rowing Center, Kaitlin’s father recently started the TRC High Performance Center. Kaitlin is inspired by watching her father do what he loves every day and change the lives of the rowers who train at his centers.

Kaitlin is also a member of the National Honor Society and student council. She enjoys other fine arts such as ceramics, painting, and drawing, and she likes to spend time with her friends when she’s not training or rowing.

Did Kaitlin start her career after high school?

Yes, After finishing her freshman year of high school, Kaitlin Knifton realized she wanted to try something new. Around this time, she got a job working on the dock at the Texas Rowing Center, and this would change her life and lead her into the water.

In her sophomore year of high school, Kaitlin joined the Texas Rowing Center’s novice team. From there, she would go on to join the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Rowing Junior National Teams. Throughout her high school years, Kaitlin was the Trustee Award Winner, being in the top 10% of her class.

Kaitlin described the initial atmosphere of the team as friendly and respectful, which made her feel like she was in the right place. During this time, she was a member of the 2017 and 2018 USRowing Junior National Teams, winning bronze in the four with coxswain at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships. She also finished ninth in the pair at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships and second in the pair at the 2018 USRowing Youth National Championships.

In addition, Kaitlin finished fourth in the youth four with coxswain at the 2017 Head of the Charles Regatta, and she rowed for the Texas Rowing Center under coach Falesha Thrash. As a freshman at the University of Texas, Kaitlin helped the Longhorns finish second at the NCAA Championship. In 2019, she rowed in the Varsity 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic, finishing third overall in the Grand Final, beating out teams like Stanford, UCLA, and Washington State.

Kaitlin’s Career and Achievements

With an entire family history in rowing, Kaitlin Knifton is a two-time first-team All-American with plenty of accomplishments in the sport. Her fourth season with the Longhorns, however, almost ended early as she needed back surgery the previous season.

During her remaining college years, Kaitlin won two more Big 12 Championships in 2021 and 2022, and she also won the Grand Final at the NCAA Championship in 2021 with a time of 6:17.387.

But her streak was cut short in January 2022 of her senior season when she herniated a disk in her lower back, which caused nerve problems in her leg and ultimately led to her having spine surgery in October 2022. This experience left her wondering if she would ever be able to row again.

You may Interested on: Meet Rower Emily Kallfelz and her sister Eliza Kallfelz Age, Wiki, Parents, Biography

With the help of physical therapy, a new mindset, and encouragement from her coach, Kaitlin was able to return to the sport she loves in just a few months. Now, she has been named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-America Teams, an honor given to student-athletes who maintain a high GPA and play at least half of their games.

In 2022, Kaitlin was named the USRowing U23 Female Athlete of the Year, and she is a two-time NCAA National Champion in 2021 and 2022. She is also a three-time First-Team All-American (2021, 2022, 2023). As a recent graduate, Kaitlin still seeks inspiration from her father in her studies while also working to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics.