Blake Haxton celebrates his Silver medal win for the Canoe Sprint Men’s Va’a Single 200m – VL2 Final A at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on September 04, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
When Blake Haxton took up paracanoe he thought he might have an opportunity to compete in the sport at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. Instead he’s leaving the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a silver medal.
Haxton, the only U.S. athlete competing in two different sports in Tokyo — rowing and canoe sprint — won the silver medal in the men’s va’a single 200-meter VL2 event Saturday at Sea Forest Waterway.
Medals on the water!
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) September 4, 2021
Haxton, a 30-year-old lawyer from Columbus, Ohio, made his Paralympic debut as a rower in 2016, the same year paracanoe debuted in the Games. Five years later he was back in the Games competing in both sports.
After opening the Paralympics by finishing 10th on Sunday in the men’s single sculls PR1M1x event, he turned his attention to paracanoe, having qualified in the va’a, a discipline new at these Games. The va’a is an outrigger canoe originating in Polynesia that has a support float on one side.
The transition from the rowboat to the canoe requires a shift in mindset, Hanson said.
“In rowing 2,000 meters in 10 minutes you’re not gonna decide the race in four or five strokes,”…