Here is Joann Formosa’s story of her Gold Medal – reported by Eurodressage:
“Another Paralympic first-timer stole the show this afternoon by dethroning the most decorated Para-Equestrian of all time, Lee Pearson, with an elegant and harmonious performance on her stallion Worldwide PB. Australia’s Joann Formosa’s third place on Thursday had alerted some to her medal potential, but it hadn’t really crossed anyone’s mind that she would be able to take on Lee Pearson and Pepo Puch on her second international appearance! The last time Joann competed internationally was in 2006 at Hartpury where she first met Lee Pearson and set her sights on one day winning gold at a Paralympic Games. “It’s been the goal of my life” she said emotionally after the prize-giving ceremony, “when I’m out there I feel great. I may not have great legs, I may be a bit sluggish on some days, but put me on a horse and I am different person. I am free”.
It wasn’t an easy task getting here with lots of training alongside constant medical attention and fundraising but thanks to the formidable Australian team, which she wished could come on the podium to receive the medal with her, she has achieved what she came out here to do.
Silver went to Lee Pearson who was very humble in defeat and genuinely proud of what he had done today. “I am just as proud of this silver medal as I am of my gold medals” he said after the prize giving ceremony. “It’s a numbers game. There are sports where you can only win one medal, whereas I have three chances. I hope to come out and redeem myself in the freestyle.”
This is what Joann had to say after achieving her dream:
“I wanted to be in the top ten, but really I wanted the gold. I knew what I wanted – I may not be good at walking, but I’m good at getting what I want.”
And on her horse Worldwide PB she said:
“He’s a stallion which is very unusual for Para-Equestrian sport, but he doesn’t behave like one, even around mares. He’s a real sweetie.”
What an amazing achievement.
If you would like to find out more about Joann’s story then Click Here
- Maltese-Australian rider wins gold at Paralympics (timesofmalta.com)
- Joann Formosa wins Gold in the Individual Test at the Para Equestrian Games (rachaeldownsdressage.wordpress.com)