Esther Lofgren Headshot 2

Esther Lofgren Biography

Hi! I’m Esther. I’m a 10-time U.S. National Team rower and 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

As a high schooler, I went through the recruiting process with several competitive academic and rowing schools, including Harvard, where I attended and had a great experience as a student-athlete.

Today, I’m passionate about helping high school and collegiate athletes achieve their rowing goals, whether that’s improving their 2K into a competitive erg score, being recruited to a competitive academic and rowing school, or overcoming mental blocks that can get in the way of rowing performance.

Esther Lofgren NAC
Esther Lofgren Radcliffe
Esther Shaklee Photo 2 copy

High School to College

When I realized I wasn’t going to be recruited to any colleges for volleyball, a friend suggested I try rowing. An amazing coach at the Newport Aquatic Center helped me rapidly improve and navigate some pretty big mental blocks. Working hard in school and preparing for standardized tests opened the door at many schools when I started pulling fast scores, and I was excited to be recruited to many of my dream schools.

After my official visits, the school that had my heart was Harvard, very much including the rowing program, Radcliffe Crew. And, after the application process and some anxious waiting – I was accepted, and headed across the country from California to Cambridge for school.

College was an enormous transition for me, and I didn’t have the smoothest start. But I found my footing and had a great academic and athletic experience, studying economics and rowing for Liz O’Leary. One of my favorite memories was submitting a major social policy econometrics project on Saturday, and Sunday having the best race of my college career and taking silver at the Eastern Sprints with my teammates.

National Team to Olympics

After my freshman year, I was recruited to the U-23 National Team. I got cut, but the experience taught me a lot and fired me up to work hard that year and come back better. The following summer, I made the U-23 team and won gold in the 8+ at the U-23 World Championships, then was asked back to try out for the Senior National Team. I earned a seat in the 4-, and took bronze at the Senior World Championships. It was an incredibly exciting opportunity, and I realized rowing was something I wanted to commit even more to.

The summer before my senior year, I made the decision to take the year off from school and try out for the 2008 Olympic Team. I started off the year as one of the slowest people on the team, but gradually, my fitness improved, and I got the opportunity to race with some incredibly talented teammates in the 8+. In the end, I wasn’t quite fast enough, and ended up being the last one cut from the team that went to Beijing. However, the experience again helped me see where I needed to improve and motivated me to get better.

After graduating, I started training with the National Team full-time. Three years, two world championships and a world record later, I was one of the last two athletes to make the boat – and grateful for my experience navigating the extremely stressful Olympic selection. Together with my amazing teammates, we led the race wire-to-wire and won Olympic gold.

Esther Lofgren coaching
erg clinic 7


For the past six years, I’ve been working with athletes one-on-one and in small clinic settings, helping them improve their rowing technique and fitness and navigate the college recruiting process.

Over my rowing career, I was lucky to have many coaches and mentors who helped me get faster, row better, and chart the best path through big decisions and challenging circumstances. Along the way, they inspired in me the desire to help others figuring those same things out.

From the other side of the megaphone, it’s a joy for me to help athletes figure out elements of the rowing stroke, encourage them to put in the work it takes to go fast, and gain the opportunities that their hard work earns them.

How Can I Help You Meet Your Goals?

customized training program

Customized Training Program

Customized, detailed, daily training to help you meet your targets, based on your current fitness and athletic performance, goals, needs, and schedule.

college rowing recruiting support

College Rowing Recruiting Support

From quick questions to a comprehensive plan, I’m here to help you understand the process and support you in making a great choice about your future.

mental toughness training support

Mental Toughness Training

A combination of workouts, mental techniques, visualizations, and cues will help you improve your confidence in your training, abilities, and self.

Getting started is easy.

Contact me today so that we can start figuring out a plan for you to meet your goals.
I don’t charge anything for our initial consultation – I’m here to learn about you and your goals, and see how I can help!