Famous Athletes and Competitors in Equestrian
Rodrigo Pessoa was born in Paris, but he is Brazilian and one of the most famous equestrians of all times. He has won gold medals at the Olympic Games and at the World Equestrian Games. Pessoa won his first titles in 1984 and 1985 and at the age of 19 he took part at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. He won his first international trophy in the Pan American Games in 1995 at the age of 22 years where he won the gold medal. The team of Brazil also took part in the Olympic Games in Atlanta where they won the Bronze medal. Pessoa won the gold medal as an individual at the 1998 World Equestrian Games that were held in Rome and became the youngest world championship in history. He also won gold medal in 1999 and 2000 at the world Cup Final events and the gold medal at individuals at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Hans Gunter Winkler from Wuppertal is a five time Olympic champion in equestrian. After the war, Germany tried to establish a good name in sports and Winkler has helped very much in building this reputation, stabilizing the situation and bringing a note of optimism. He is the only athlete that ever won seven Olympic Medals in the Jumping Events, a record that was made between 1956 and 1976. These years were also the years of his career. He is the only one to win medals in six different Olympic Games and this has to do with the fact that he was very skilled and that he was very stable. There are not many athletes that have a career that lasted twenty years and that were able to win Olympic medals in all those years. This shows his excellent quality. He won his first gold Olympic medal in 1956 and continued his successful career winning the gold medal in 1960 in Rome and 1964 in Tokyo at the team event. At the Olympic Games of Munich he won the fifth gold medal for an Olympic event. He has also won World Championships titles in 1954 and 1955. Winkler was named ‘sportsman of the year’ for years 1955 and 1956. He stopped competing in 1986.
One of the first famous athletes is Charles Pahud de Mortanges from Netherlands. He is a four time Olympic champion and one of the greatest athletes of all times. Many young athletes still admire him for his skills and passion when competing. He was an officer at the Dutch military and was very good with horses. He was good in riding and training them. He took part in the 1924 Paris Games where he had the chance to show his talent. At the Olympic Games of 1928 that were held in Amsterdam, he won both the individual and the team races. The Olympic Games of 1932 in Los Angeles were the next event that he won a gold medal. After his retirement from races he was president of the Dutch Olympic Committee.