Laura Schwanger is a two-time national team member in the sport of rowing, but she's no stranger to the Paralympic Games. She has competed in three Paralympic Games in track and field, winning four gold medals in 1988, three silver medals and a bronze medal in 1992 and three silver medals in 1996. At the 2008 Paralympic Games Schwanger attempted to win her first medal in rowing. In the women's single sculls - A, she did just that, taking home the bronze medal.

Schwanger took up the sport of rowing in the fall of 2006, following breast cancer treatments. She credits rowing for her quick recovery and return to an active life.  But she also admits that she would not be rowing at this level if it hadn't been for the cancer.  Schwanger says, "The cancer community is so supportive, as well as the local adaptive rowing program (PRPD), that I don't feel like I'm rowing alone. They are all in the boat with me!"

Schwanger was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while on active duty in the U.S. Army.   She has a bachelor's degree in political science from Rowan College of New Jersey and a master's degree in counseling psychology from Immaculata College. Now retired, Schwanger worked for United Spinal Association, where she ran Pennsylvania programs for U.S. veterans with spinal cord injuries.

Major Achievements:

  • 2008: Bronze medal, women's single sculls - A - Paralympic Games, Beijing, China 
  • 2008: First place, women's single sculls - U.S. Rowing National Championships
  • 2007: Sixth place, women's single sculls - FISA World Championships, Munich, Germany
  • 2007: First place, women's single sculls - U.S. Rowing National Championships
  • 1996: Three silver medals - Paralympic Games, Atlanta, Ga. (Track and Field)
  • 1992: Three silver medals, bronze medal - Paralympic Games, Barcelona, Spain (Track and Field)
  • 1988: Four gold medals - Paralympic Games, Seoul, Korea (Track and Field)