Row of Life
Imperial Hawaii Vacation Club Owners, Deb & Angela Madsen were here in January 2020 and were interviewed by Jim Mendoza of Hawaii News Now.
“Angela Madsen is a paraplegic and an incredible athlete with a goal that spans an ocean. She plans to row across the Pacific Ocean all by herself…” (Click here to watch the news interview.)
Some of you may remember this article from a 2014 post in our Owners’ Newsletter…
People around the globe accomplish amazing feats that far exceed that of any average man, woman or child. Many succeed, many more fail. What separates those who succeed and fail, depends on their desire and ability to persevere. Some set out on these feats to better the world, or the society they live in, while others do it simply for the appreciation of life. Angela Madsen was born in Xenia, Ohio, and spent most of her life in Southern California. Coming from a military background and active athletic upbringing, being in a wheelchair was surely not on her agenda. In 1993, while in the line of duty in the Marine Corp, Angela suffered a back injury which required extensive surgery. While most surgeries are anticipated to go well, hers did not, and left her a paraplegic, losing mobility in both legs. Being a paraplegic was difficult to accept, and like many who experience any debilitating or life altering injury, periods of hopelessness and depression often set in. Fortunately for Angela, the period was only temporary. A brief period of homelessness, and after having being told by a doctor, “your physical condition is a waste of life”, Angela decided that it was time to turn her situation around. From that point in her life, she has been on a fast track on becoming one of the most inspirational women of our time. Using her athletic abilities, she’s always had, Angela got back into intensive sports training, and soon became a very successful athlete in Paralympic Sports. She became a member of the US Paralympic Team in 2008 (7th in rowing) and in 2012 (Bronze medal in the Shot Put). She also held numerous World and American records in both the Shot Put and Javelin. Rowing soon grew into a passion that eventually set her off on numerous Rowing championships and vast record-breaking crossings. Her first 66-day World Record Atlantic crossing in 2007 was the catalyst for record breaking crossings in the years to come in the sport of rowing. Some of which that are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records include:
2008 – Indian Ocean Crossing in 58 days
2010 – Rowed around Great Britain in 51 days
2011 – Atlantic Ocean Crossing in 47 days
2014 – California to Hawaii – 66 days
In addition to her resume of athletic accomplishments, Angela is also no stranger to giving back to the community. She has become a Rowing Coach and mentor for many “different abled” athletes, providing opportunities in the sport of adaptive rowing for all. She has become a voice and motivational speaker for those who go through similar challenges in their lives. She has even authored a book entitled “Rowing Against the Wind”, which provides a vivid account of Angela’s perseverance and personal success. Angela’s recent row from California to Hawaii in her boat named “Spirit of Orlando” this past July, completed another chapter in her extensive career. Together with her highly supportive partner, Debra Moeller, who is an Owner, have made The Imperial their home the past few weeks as Angela recovered from her arduous journey. But not for long as she has her GPS set on yet another adventure which will take her where? “I don’t know…it’s a big ocean out there, and there are many more places I’d like to go. As long as I’m still able and willing, I’ll keep on going.” While this insert serves as merely a “snapshot” of Angela’s amazing life journey, more can be learned about her successes by visiting her web site.
“Always be grateful for what you have…Always be mindful of what you have to lose.” – Angela Madsen
Imperial Hawaii Vacation Club Owners Deb and Angela are back, and this time Angela is looking to take on a SOLO row from California to Hawaii. Some think… “Solo row, OK, she rows by herself and has her own backup ship following her with people, supplies, emergency equipment and such…” That is not the case with Angela. She has her specially designed row boat, her on-board supplies, cameras to document the trip, GPS & communication technology, her strength and her wits. She is alone in a boat the entire trip from California to Hawaii!
Angela is planning on leaving the West Coast mid-April and arriving to Oahu around mid-July 2020. Her partner Deb will be staying at The Imperial Hawaii Resort waiting for her to arrive.
What an amazing Ohana we have here at The Imperial Hawaii Vacation Club!
Here is a photo of when they were here in 2014 and the group photo of when they were interviewed in January of 2020. A documentary is also being made. Please use the links below to check out the website. There is also a crowdfunding campaign available. If you would like to donate, please click the link below!
Live website: https://www.rowoflife.org/
Crowdfunding campaign: https://igg.me/at/rowoflife
Angela Madsen Video: https://vimeo.com/368944685
We will update this story as we get more information, pictures and links throughout the year!
2014 photo left: Angela Madsen is in the front and behind left to right: RJ Somera, Bryan Ayakawa, Lynette Salazar, Derek Caravalho & Tony Gabriel
2020 photo right: Angela Madsen is in the front and behind from left to right: Lynette Salizar, Keola Willing, Soraya Simi (documentary filmmaker for Angela & Deb) Deb Madsen, Bryan Ayakawa, Derek Carvalo, Tony Gabriel & Stephanie Reuter