A few weeks ago one of the most successful Olympians of all times, Anky Van Grusven, was a guest in the Belgian tv-show 'De kleedkamer'. She talked about her horses, her deceased father and the Olympics.
"I remember that during my preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games literally everything went wrong", Anky starts. "I broke my leg and had to recover for eight months, my father died in the beginning of that year and basically everything went wrong. My father had always been my mental coach and suddenly he wasn't there anymore, which was very hard for me. My father always told me to never cry in public but I still remember very well that I cried a lot during the Athens Games Despite all the setbacks, I was able to win that year and I really think my father had something to do with that. My preparation had not turned out the way it should have gone, but I was able to achieve a nice result. I also rode for my father, which made my victory extra special".
"How do you know if you have a good horse? Gosh, I really can't explain that. I think it is some kind of natural talent. I remember very well that my father and I saw Bonfire for the first time. We both had the feeling that we had bought an Olympic Champion, even though he was only three at the time. However, his education was not always easy. I remember at one point when my father said that I was not allowed to ride Bonfire when other people came over because he was going so bad (laughs) Oh well, in the end we were right after all, I even got offered a blank check for him but I really didn't want to sell him, I just want to ride and enjoy my horses, money really doesn't matter ", she concludes.