First Ugandan Rower In Olympic History Lives, Trains In Utah 

Jun 2, 2021, 9:02 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With the Summer Olympics in Tokyo now only two months away many athletes who already qualified continue to train knowing their moment is getting closer. One of those athletes lives and trains in Salt Lake City but her heart is on the other side of the world.  

People often come to the Great Salt Lake for the views.  

You can see mountains for miles, birds, and even boats out on the water.  

Lately, some visitors might have seen a certain rower who visits the Great Salt Lake and seems to be going faster than most rowers.  

“When it’s flat, you can just go and go and go and go,” said Kathleen Noble with a smile.  

Noble trains on the Great Salt Lake as often as possible.  

She is the only rower from Uganda who will be in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

“It means a lot to represent the Ugandan rowing community because rowing is a pretty new sport in Uganda. It started in 2009,” she said.

Noble was born in Uganda. 

Her father was a missionary doctor and her mother a missionary nurse.  

They stayed in the African country and Noble went to school there.

A couple of years ago, she moved to Salt Lake City for her career, as well as to work in the outdoor therapy field.

However, her true love is rowing.  

Noble qualified for the Olympics last year only for the Tokyo Games to be postponed because of COVID-19.

“At that point, I was like, nooo,” she said with a big laugh. “It’s just been so much time and so much effort and so much uncertainty.” 

Noble took a break for a little bit, but when she found out she would keep her Olympic spot she started training even harder.

“30 strokes and then turn around and come back,” said her coach, Ahsan Iqbal, during a recent training session on the lake.

Iqbal said the year delay of the Olympics may benefit Noble because she’s even stronger this year.  

He added Noble gained a boatload of confidence at the Indoor World Championships a few months ago.  

“There were people she was racing against that she did not think she could beat, and she had raced against them before,” said Iqbal. “So, when she beat them, that was a good marker on training that she is on the right track.”

Noble has also trained in the Jordan Surplus Canal with the Utah Crew Club.  

Iqbal and his wife Linda are coaches with the Utah Crew Club and they feel having other high-level rowers train with Noble pushed her even further.  

Most of all, though, Noble is just proud to be an Olympian and the first Olympic rower in Ugandan history.  

When she competes in Tokyo this summer, she knows a lot of people in her home country will be watching – including, perhaps, the next Olympic rower.

“I think it is inspiring to them to see somebody from Uganda who is representing them at the Olympics,” said Noble. “I hope that inspires that dream in them to be able to compete.” 

Many people in Utah will be cheering for her, too. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Uniting Utah

Winter Vinecki of Team United States reacts during the Women's Freestyle Skiing Aerials Qualificati...
Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Park City’s Winter Vinecki raises awareness for prostate cancer

Freestyle aerialist skier Winter Vinecki moved to Park City when she was 13 years old to start skiing, four years after her dad passed away from prostate cancer. She says competing isn't all about herself; she does it for a greater cause.
6 months ago
Cole McDonald says he finally feels comfortable in the company of the world's best skiers. (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Park City’s Cole McDonald qualifies 5th in freestyle run 

Park City's Cole McDonald is already having the time of his life in his first Olympics this week in Beijing. 
6 months ago
Hannah Soar, an Olympic women’s mogul skier, trained in Murray at Intermountain Healthcare’s TO...
Aley Davis, KSL TV

Olympic Mogul Skier Hannah Soar trains at Intermountain Healthcare’s Sports Science Lab 

22-year-old Hannah Soar is making her Olympic debut this year as a U.S. women’s mogul skier. 
6 months ago
MyKayla Skinner of Team United States poses with the silver medal following the Women's Vault Final...
Jeremiah Jensen & Keira Farrimond, KSL TV

Silver Lining To Silver Medal: MyKayla Skinner Reacts To Comeback Olympic Moment

Skinner's path to the podium was unconventional, to say the least, but how she got there really doesn't matter. What matters is that she seized the moment she was given and showed she deserved to be there.
1 year ago
Olympic shooter Alexis Lagan. (Used by permission, Alexis Lagan)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

University Of Utah Graduate Shooting For Olympic Gold In Tokyo 

Recent University of Utah graduate, Alexis Lagan, said she was fully prepared to begin her Olympic journey. 
1 year ago
Eddie Alvarez (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Former Utah Baseball Player Will Lead Team USA Into Olympic Stadium 

A former baseball player at Salt Lake Community College was chosen as one of the two flag-bearers who will lead Team USA into the Tokyo Olympic Stadium during Friday’s opening ceremonies. 
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
First Ugandan Rower In Olympic History Lives, Trains In Utah