Athletes spend at least four years of their lives dedicated to one thing, and one thing only: training for the Olympics. You can only imagine how it feels to finally step foot into an Olympic arena.
Now, imagine getting there — and turning right around to go back home without getting to prove yourself in the Games. For one equestrian, that’s exactly what happened in the recent Grand Prix competition in Rio.
In years past, Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen has won an Olympic silver and bronze, plus World and European gold medals. For all of these medals, she’s had her chestnut gelding horse named Parzival to thank.
This year, the pair was all set and ready to go. This is what Adelinde has been training so hard for. “The first days in Rio went according to plan: a relaxed flight, stabling good, training good,” Adelinde wrote on Facebook. “Parzival feels happy and fit.”
But instead of finishing out the Games, Adelinde decided to retire mid-test — in the middle of the arena, with thousands of people watching.
Scroll down to see the incredible and powerful reason why Adelinde and Parzival’s story of ultimate friendship is going viral…