The Paralympics in Tokyo resulted in huge medal success for Team GB. Athletes are classified into five grades (1-5) depending on their levels of mobility, strength and coordination. Grade 1 tests the horses are ridden in walk. Grade 2 and 3 the horses include walk and trot and grade 4 and 5 are comprised of walk, trot, canter and lateral work.
27 Nations took part in the individual, team and freestyle event in Tokyo on 26th – 30th August 2021. The Team GB Results from the Tokyo Paralympics were as follows:-
- Team Medals
Gold – Great Britain (229.905)
Silver – The Netherlands (229.249)
Bronze – United States of America (224.352)
- Grade II Freestyle
- Grade III Freestyle
Silver – Natasha Baker on Keystone Dawn Chorus GBR (77.614%)
- Grade II Individual
- Grade III Individual
- Grade V Individual
Silver – Sophie Wells on Don Cara M GBR (74.405%)
Speaking after winning his 12th Paralympic gold medal on the opening day of dressage Sir Lee Pearson shared some powerful thoughts with the media.
“Love has to prevail, really, whatever love, whatever shape or form. And I think if you’re born with a disability, if you have a child with a disability, if you’re born with a same sex attraction, if your daughter comes out, or your son, then just love them. Nobody wants to be different, but we have to embrace different people, because that’s society, that’s the world. Those different people, they’re not going anywhere. So you can say it’s illegal. You can make them feel awful but somewhere in the world, another gay boy, or girl will be born. Somewhere in the world somebody will be born with no limbs. Life goes on and it’s silly in this day and age that we have countries that are still in the stone ages. But I’m just a horse rider… I think anybody in any job in any life situation, that in this day and age is a shame that people just can’t be themselves, can’t accept their disability, can’t accept their sexuality, And I think it’s sad that we still have countries that make people feel so awful themselves. When I came out, I struggled more with my own feelings than I did with society. Society was changing when I was 20. It’s a big battle with yourself. It’s a battle you can hide as well. My disability I can’t hide, so I walked around in my head very high. That was the way I was brought up by my parents, to accept my disability.”
He added: “The Paralympics is about acceptance, so I think it’s nice that you guys mentioned that, and, if we can’t take acceptance into sexuality around the world, as well as disability, then I think that’s a shame. I’m not very political. I think I’ve made change by just being, but there are very important people out there who chain themselves to gates and do fight for rights. I wouldn’t be here if those people hadn’t fought, but I think me just being, and allowing you to interview me and ask those questions, hopefully will give other people confidence to just be. Then there’ll be other people fighting as well in the background with government[s] and with society, because sometimes society changes government, but sometimes also government have to be brave, and help to change society. I am the most abnormal normal person you’ll ever meet. I’m very normal and if that comes across, that it’s ok, it’s not frightening, it shouldn’t be hidden in dark nightclubs. Once again, I’m a horse rider in the middle of Great Britain, and I just ride horses. But if me riding horses can help one person in a sticky situation or who doesn’t love and can’t accept themselves or their family are struggling, then my hope is that it does help somebody.”
We are so proud of our Gold Medal team GB paralympic Athletes.