Friday, August 22, 2008

Udeman: Ian Millar

Olympic silver medalist (for Canada) for team show jumping, at age 61... after nine previous Olympic appearances. Millar dedicated his medal to his late wife, Lynn, who coached him for 35 years, until her death from cancer in March.

"I had an angel riding with me, that's all I can say", he said, accepting his medal.


After his first Olympics, he was disappointed in himself. His wife told him not to worry- he was a late bloomer. Last year, at the age of 60, Millar said he believed he was at the peak of his career: "It sounds old but it's the right age for the sport, because so much of what happens out there is mental learning."

Considered one of the greatest equestrian athletes of all time, he is now preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Life glows on.

9 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

The equestrian events are my absolute favorite to watch, but the coverage here sucks, if I may be so indelicate. Having done a lot of riding, and a little jumping, I'm always so overwhelmed by how good these people and horses are. One of the great things about riding is that unless you fall, it's not as hard on the body as, say, running. Fabulous, thanks for posting this!

Duchesse said...

Le Duc just had a fall off and fractured his vertabra- ordered flat for 1 month.

Eric Lamaze (CAN) won the gold yesterday for jumping- he'd make UdeMan status too but he's a mere child. But what a story. He said,
"If you just give people a second chance and allow them to come back from a mistake, great things can happen".

La Belette Rouge said...

Really inspiring! I had not heard his story. I love the idea that it is never too late. One of my favorite professors went back to school at 75 to get her PhD.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of two committed equestrians, I can truly appreciate the sport. I think, and correct me if I am wrong, that it is the only sport that involves women competing against men and involves competion across all ages. It is not unusual for my oldest daughter(14) to compete in shows against riders over twice her age. It is also the only sport that involves two athletes only one of whom is human!

Anjela said...

Beautiful story. It is inspiring to read this. I had a huge crush once on Paul Schockemöhle!Or maybe it was his horse.
Whatever happened to him....

WendyB said...

Fabulous story!

Savvy Mode SG said...

good for him. that is very inspiring.

cybill said...

What! you mean its not too late for my own olympic dream?

Belle de Ville said...

Great post!
It is a shame that so few people in the US have an appreciation for equestrian events. Given the two truly unique aspects of the sport already mentioned here that this is the one sport where men and women compete against each other and typically experience is key to winning so it's not unusual to see 50 year old champions.
As an ex polo player I was always dissapointed that polo was not included in the olympics, especially since the sport, in some form or another, is ancient. But, while you can play it carefully until your 50's it is tremendously dangerous and a sport for the young. I miss the game but after breaking a few bones and some sugery, I'm glad that I gave it up.

A rider friend recently sent me a video about a lovely lady in her 90's who is still in the saddle and giving riding lessons.
Magnificent.