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Royal Holloway alumna wins double gold in Paralympic Games

Posted on 03/09/2012

Sophie's gold win secures her a commemorative First Class stamp

Golden girl Sophie Christiansen MBE triumphed at the London 2012 Paralympics yesterday (Sunday) when she won two gold medals in individual and team dressage events at Greenwich.

Sophie, who studied Mathematics at Royal Holloway, University of London, will compete for a third gold tomorrow (Tuesday) riding to her personal choice of music in the freestyle event.

Sophie, who became an Honorary Fellow of the College in May, has cerebral palsy and started riding at the age of six with the Riding for the Disabled Association and has never looked back.

Speaking after the medal ceremony she said: “I couldn’t have asked for any more. I went in thinking this is just a training session – there just happened to be 10,000 people watching. I knew if I was focused on what I do in training I could do another 80-plus test. It was great to have my family and friends here to see me do this. And to win team gold with a Paralympic record, that’s amazing.”

Sophie also won two gold medals and one silver at Beijing in 2008 and a bronze in Athens in 2004 which she brought along to the College’s Olympic celebration Day in March to mark Royal Holloway’s role as the official Rowing and Sprint Canoe Olympic and Paralympic Village. Sophie also spoke about her experiences and impressive achievements at a special Olympic Conference held at the College in April.

Mark Hyndman, Sports Development Executive at Royal Holloway, who was there to cheer Sophie on during Sunday’s event, said: “It has been a delight working with Sophie and being part of her journey during her five years at the College, whilst she completed her Mathematics degree. Being lucky enough to get tickets for Sunday it was amazing to see her and her horse Rio compete and win Gold. I’m sure many people will agree that Sophie is such an inspiring individual and I’m sure she will have inspired the next generation of Paralympic athletes."


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