In March of 2009, Blake Haxton was in his senior year of high school in Columbus, Ohio, when he contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis, more commonly called the flesh-eating disease. Over the course of three days he went from being the captain of his school’s rowing team and a Division I rowing recruit to suffering major organ failure and the amputation of both of his legs. Haxton was released from the hospital after over 20 major surgeries and three months of inpatient care. Life-threatening medical complications notwithstanding, he enrolled at The Ohio State University the following fall and earned his B.S. in finance in 2013. He then enrolled at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and returned to the sport of rowing, making the U.S. National Team in the Arms and Shoulders single event. Haxton made six consecutive U.S. Rowing Teams including the 2016 and 2020 Paralympic Team. Following the games in Rio, his fellow Olympic/Paralympic teammates and coaches voted him as the Male Athlete of the Year, making him the first para-athlete to win the honor. He made the U.S. Paracanoe team for the first time in 2019 and in 2020 he was the only U.S. Paralympian competing in two different sports in Tokyo, winning the silver medal in the sprint canoe.
Haxton earned his law degree from Ohio State in 2016 and is a financial analyst in Columbus, Ohio. He is currently training with the hopes of making the 2024 Paris Paralympic Team.