28th November 1967
Equestrian Simon Laurens is born
Simon Larens won gold in Team Open Dressage and silver in individual freestyle at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, helping put Great Britain at the top of the equestrian events medals table.
Laurens was born in St Brelade and, according to his official rider biography from British Dressage, “when he was [seven and a half] his best friend was given some riding lessons for her birthday and she refused to go on her own. Simon’s friend was bucked off during her first lesson and gave up while Simon was hooked. Three months later, his mum bought him his first pony and the obsession continued…”
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004, in 2008 he was named BBC South West Disabled Sports Personality of the year. Upon winning, he spoke to the BBC about his time in Beijing and explained that “in a strange way, my MS has helped me. I decided it was going to work for me. These experiences [competing on the world stage] are the best medicine I could ever have.”
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