Vision impaired Para-rower Kathleen Murdoch made history in 2016 when she combined with Brock Ingram, Davinia Lefroy, Jeremy McGrath and coxswain Jo Burnand in the mixed coxed four LTA to qualify Australia’s first ever boat in that class at a Paralympic Games.

Placing fourth in their heat and third in their repechage heat, the Australian team won their final to place sixth overall at Rio 2016.

Kathleen was four-years-old when she was diagnosed with cone-rod dystrophy and declared legally blind at 16.

Determined to find a sport suited to her condition, Kathleen first tried rowing at the suggestion of her dad, a former rower himself, and made her international debut four years later at the 2014 FISA World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. There she won silver in the mixed double sculls event with Rio 2016 Paralympian Jeremy McGrath.

Required to wear blackout goggles while racing, Kathleen says that …

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Date of birth
22 December 1986
Past Paralympic Games

Rio 2016

Vision Impairment – Cone-rod dystrophy
How acquired
South Penrith, NSW
Disability employment consultant
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Winning silver at the 2014 FISA World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Heroes/role models

Kim Crow


  • Sport: Para-rowing Discipline: Mixed coxed four Classification: PR3-VI (B1)

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