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Ekaterina Karsten Biography

Quickly Became A National Champion, First Olympic Hero For Belarus, Close Finish, Chronology, Awards And AccomplishmentsCONTACT INFORMATION


Belarussian rower

Ekaterina Karsten is a champion rower who has won three World Championship medals and three Olympic medals. A native of Belarus, Karsten started competing professionally for the Soviet Union. However, in 1996 she became the first athlete to win an Olympic medal, particularly a gold medal, for the newly independent state of Belarus. Her success in rowing has made her a national hero. Karsten repeated her Olympic gold medal performance in 2000, winning the single sculls competition by only one tenth of a second.

Ekaterina Karsten was born Ekaterina Khodotovich on June 2, 1972 in Osetcheno, Belarus, which then was a republic of the Soviet Union. Osetcheno is a rural community about fifty miles from Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Karsten, popularly known as Katya, was the youngest of seven children who grew up on a farm. She was not especially interested in sports as a young child. When she was fifteen years old, she was approached by her gym coach to consider taking up rowing. The school had received a letter from the Minsk School of Rowing to scout "tall, healthy girls" for the republic's rowing team. Karsten was six feet tall and weighted 172 pounds, so she caught the attention of her gym teacher. Her gym teacher spoke with her parents about the opportunity to become a state-sponsored athlete and they agreed to let Karsten move to Minsk.

Ekaterina Karsten


Address: FISA Headquarters, Av. de Cour 135, Case Postale 18, 1000 Lausanne 3, Switzerland. Phone: (41) 21-617-8373.

Sketch by Janet P. Stamatel

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