American Rower Saige Harper Age, Family, Biography

American para-rower Saige Harper qualified for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris after winning the gold medal in the 2023 Para Rowing Regatta to Paris (PR3 mixed four with Coxswain).

Saige Harper qualifies for the Paris Paralympic 2024

On January 17th, the U.S. Rowing governing body announced the athletes who will represent the United States at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, France. Saige Harper, a senior at Sacred Heart University (SHU), secured her place on the U.S. Paralympic Rowing Team. This will be the fourth time she has competed for Team USA. The selection of Paralympic athletes was done through a special training camp process held a few weeks ago in Sarasota, Florida.

Before Saige Harper confirmed her spot in the rowing boat, her journey began two years ago with the guidance of Lucas Wilhelm, the women’s rowing coach at SHU. Wilhelm, now in his third year of coaching at the university, shared his initial thoughts about Harper. She was signed up to the national team in the year after the Olympic Games. In the summer of 2022, Harper participated in her first World Rowing Championships held in the Czech Republic.

This past summer, she competed at her second World Rowing Championships in Serbia, where her rowing boat finished second. This performance qualified the entire boat for the Paralympics. However, it did not guarantee Harper an individual spot until she attended the selection training camp in Sarasota.

“Everyone was there, some even from the Toko 2021 Olympics, all trying out for a spot,”“It was the most competitive it’s ever been.”

said Harper.

Seige Harper’s Age, Early Life, Family, and Education

Saige Harper was born in Easthampton, Massachusetts in the United States. She grew up surrounded by water, and a family member suggested that rowing would be a great sport for her. Harper stands at a height of 5 feet 9 inches and weighs 175 pounds.

Seige Harper with her Family
Image: Seige Harper with her Family (Source: Seige’s Instagram)

Harper attended Sacred Heart University, where she studied exercise science. At the university, she mentioned that being a student-athlete prepared her for the challenges she would face in her athletic career. It taught her to push beyond her limits and work harder than she thought was possible. This environment provided her with the opportunity to grow both athletically and academically.

Harper got introduced to para-rowing while she was trying to get recruited to row in college. She mentioned that many schools asked her if she rowed para or informed her about para-rowing when she disclosed her disability during the college rowing recruitment process. Harper attended high school in Easthampton, Massachusetts, and she has a sister named Jessica who excelled academically and in swimming before Harper found her passion for rowing.

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Her current coach, Luke Wilhelm, played a crucial role in encouraging her to seize the opportunity of para-rowing. Harper’s club is the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, she trains in Boston, Massachusetts, and her position is PR3 Mixed Four with Coxswain.

Harper’s Professional Career and Representing US

In the year 2022, Saige Harper took part in the World Rowing Championships. She competed in the PR3 mixed four with coxswain event and finished in the fifth position. Harper was a sophomore at Sacred Heart University’s women’s rowing team, and was chosen by USA Rowing to represent the United States at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in the PR3 coxed four boat. She became the first rower from Sacred Heart University to be selected for that particular boat.

At the 2023 World Championships, she won a silver medal in the PR3 mixed four with coxswain event. Additionally, she secured a gold medal in the same event, PR3 mixed four with coxswain, at the 2023 Para Rowing Regatta held in Paris. Furthermore, Harper’s performance at the selection camp for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris put her position, marking her fourth appearance with Team USA.