Riding for Great Britain, out and proud equestrian Lee Pearson now has a medal of every color at the 2012 Paralympics. Lee followed his silver medal performance Saturday in the Individual Championship with a gold in the Team Championship event. The win marked the fifth consecutive team gold for Great Britain, which has dominated the competition since equestrian events were introduced to the Paralympic Games at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
The Team Championship first place finish marked the tenth lifetime gold medal for Lee, but he fell short in his attempt for a record-breaking eleventh gold in the Freestyle Event today. A win would have tied Lee with swimmer Dave Roberts and wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson, who have both won eleven gold Paralympic medals representing Great Britain. But in the end it was Austria’s Pepo Puch who took the gold, and Katja Karjalainen of Finland who won silver. Lee had to settle for bronze.
Fans complained questionable judging in the Freestyle event robbed Lee of the gold, when judge Sarah Rodger scored Lee a full 13 points behind the Argentine judge who gave Lee’s James Bond inspired routine a 78.250. When asked about the disparity in scores Lee was magnanimous in his response saying “She obviously saw something the others didn’t.” What a class act.
The Freestyle is the final event of this Paralympics for Lee, and we congratulate him on the well-earned gold, silver, and bronze medals he will be taking away. If you would like to send Lee your own congratulations, you can find him on a Facebook or Twitter.
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