EQUESTRIAN - Leamington rider Collett to defend Olympic title at Paris 2024 Games - The Leamington Observer

EQUESTRIAN - Leamington rider Collett to defend Olympic title at Paris 2024 Games

Aaron Sutcliffe 28th Jun, 2024 Updated: 28th Jun, 2024   0

LEAMINGTON rider Laura Collett knows more than anyone about defying the odds as she prepares to defend her Olympic title at Paris 2024.

Collett is one 12 athletes announced by Team GB who will make the trip to the French capital this summer as part of the equestrian team.

The Leamington rider returns to the Olympic stage three years on from making history in Tokyo after playing her part in securing Team GB’s first team eventing gold in 48 years.

The 34-year-old found herself in an induced coma in 2013 after suffering a punctured lung following a heavy fall from her horse.

She was back in the saddle just 11 days later and has not looked back since winning her first event.

Collett said: “Life’s easy now, isn’t it? I love a challenge and proving people wrong and things like that makes me quite a stubborn person.

“It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of [to be an Olympian], and I’m just like a person that’s living her dream.”

Collett is hellbent on defending her Olympic crown after her incredible experience of topping the podium in Tokyo.

However, the lack of fans or family present due to the COVID-19 pandemic during her last Olympic appearance slightly tainted the experience.

And Collett is expecting a strong British faithful to make the trip across the channel this summer and is aware this year will be a completely new experience.

Collett added: “It’s going to feel like a home from home, being just over there.

“I can’t wait to have friends and family and the spectators, it’s a whole new level of excitement.

“Tokyo still felt so special and was an unbelievable experience, but it’s just going to be completely different this time around.

“This is a whole new experience for me and it’s already got such a buzz. Walking in [to Kitting Out] was just goosebumps and I can’t wait to get going.”

Despite her Olympic success, Collett is not resting on her laurels just yet and has even more gold in her sights in Paris.

She hopes to win individual honours at this summer’s Games.

Collett said: “Team GB went into the Tokyo Olympics as hot favourites. Going in again, we’ve got such a strong squad of riders and horses, I think everyone’s so motivated to try and retain the team title.

“For me personally, I want to try and win an individual medal. I didn’t do that last time, so it’s unfinished business.”

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