1st Puerto Rican Rower to Qualify for Panam Games!

As the first Puerto Rican female rower to ever qualify for the Panamerican Games, I would love the opportunity to proudly represent my Island this summer at the Panamerican Games in Lima, Peru. But I need your help to make  it possible!

The island's financial crisis, exacerbated by Hurricane Maria, has greatly shortened the budget that the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee has to support its athletes, so Puerto Rico will not be sending all qualified athletes to the 2019 Panamerican Games.

In order to go, I need to demonstrate to the Puerto Rico Olympic committee that I am capable of a worthy representation in the Final of my event at the Panamerican Games. The only way to do this is to participate in a series of national and international competitions, for which I have to cover all costs - thus would greatly appreciate any help I can get!

A little background about myself:

My name is Veronica Toro Arana and I am training to be the first female to ever row for Puerto Rico at the Olympics. 

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and I started rowing as a freshman in college at MIT, where I obtained my Bachelor’s in Biological Engineering. While being part of the First Varsity Eight of the MIT Woman’s Open Weight Crew, I started competing as the Woman Single sculler for Puerto Rico in 2014. 

Since then, I have represented Puerto Rico in three World Rowing Championships, two Central America and Caribbean Games, one Central America and Caribbean Rowing Cup, two Panamerican Games Qualifiers, and one Continental Olympic Qualifier. I have been named Rowing athlete of the year for Puerto Rico in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018.

Last year, I won the Central America and Caribbean Rowing Cup, made it to the C Final at the World Rowing Championships, and became the fist female Puerto Rican to ever qualify for the Panamerican Games in rowing.

Outside of rowing, I am a student at Stanford School of Medicine, hoping to become a Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon. I have already completed my first two years of Medical School and am currently on a two year sabbatical training full time at Miami International RowHouse with Coach Francisco Viacava and remotely conducting research for the Stanford Cardiovascular Biomechanics Computational Lab. My research focuses on predicting surgery outcomes in children with a congenital heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, and was presented this past November 2018 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Conference.

The stipend I receive for conducting my research helps me cover my cost of living, and most of my local training expenses, but it is definitely not enough to cover any of the competition expenses (including airfare, hotels, food, boat rentals, oar transport, coaching, etc.). Therefore any contribution you can give helps!!

Upcoming schedule:
Sarasota Invitational Masters Regatta,  Sarasota, Florida, February 24
OARS Master Regatta, Orlando, Florida, March 10
Memorial "Paolo d'Aloja" Regatta, Piediluco, Italia, April 7-14
US Rowing Senior Trials I, Sarasota, Florida,  April 18-21
FISA Training Camp and Regatta, Puerto Rico, April 29-May 5
World Rowing Cup II, Poland, June 21-23
USRowing Club Nationals, Ohio, July 8-14
Panamerican Games, Lima, July 26-August 11

This is a picture of me with my Coach, Francisco Viacava at the Panamerican Qualification Regatta. Coach Franky trained the USA single sculler for the 2017 World Rowing Cup and World Rowing Championships, and has been one of the greatest assets on my path to accomplish my rowing goals.

Thank you so much for your donation!!

Vero and Coach Franky

Donations (89)

  • Gerry Baron
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs


Vero Toro
Miami, FL

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