Sophie Christiansen leaves her stamp on the ParalympicsBy Jonathan Low
September 18, 2012
Triple Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Christiansen has praised the ‘phenomenal support’ she received over the Games.
The 24-year-old Ascot equestrian dressage rider joined Team GB’s victory parade through London on Monday and told reporters her three gold medals made her neck ache.
Sophie, who suffers from cerebral palsy, won gold in the individual and team events, and the freestyle event at Greenwich Park, said: “It’s been the most amazing few weeks of my life.
“You could see the whole of the UK was completely behind us.
"I can’t thank the public enough, it’s a shame I can’t do it all again.
“The parade was amazing - it completely highlighted the Games.
“I’ve only just got out of the ‘bubble’ and it’s only now when you realise how much of an impact the Games have had.”
Following Sophie’s success at the Paralympics which ended on Sunday, the Royal Mail has produced three stamps to commemorate her three gold medals and they have also painted post boxes gold in London Road in Sunningdale and in the High Street in Maidenhead, the location of the third is still being decided.
The former Charters School pupil added: “All the athletes were so friendly and I made so many new friends.
“That’s what I love about the Paralympic Games.”
And she reserved special praise for her horse, Janiero 6, saying: “Janiero was perfect, I could not have asked for more from him.
“He’s such an amazing talent and got amazing temperament.
“We’ve got such a great partnership.”
Sophie won her three gold medals inside the space of three memorable days.
She said: “The first medal was the major one.
“Then you know you can do it and the judges know where you should be.
“But I felt very confident and just wanted to enjoy myself as much as I could.”
Sophie now has five Paralympic gold medals, but is unsure what the future now holds.
She was awarded a Masters degree in Maths from Royal Holloway university last year and worked as a part-time statistician while preparing for the Paralympics.
“My main focus was on London so I am going to have a bit of a break,” she said.
“A home Games was something very few people will experience.
“I want to inspire other people and show my medals to as many people as possible, especially children.
“Four years is a long time until the next Paralympic Games so we’ll see how it goes.”