For an athlete who’s trained for years to make the cut for the Olympics, there’s nothing like standing in the arena in front of the world to feel all the grueling work paying off. But sometimes, things can take a drastic turn for the worse.
Everything seemed to be running smoothly for Netherlands equestrian Adeline Cornelissen’s first few days in Rio as she geared up to compete in dressage, a stylized riding event. Parzival, her champion horse, appeared happy, fit, and ready to compete. In the past, Cornelissen won an Olympic silver and bronze medal with Parzival and even earned World and European gold medals.
But just as things seemed to be going perfectly, they suddenly began to go awry. After Parzival’s head swelled up and he came down with a dangerously high fever, veterinarians realized he’d been bitten by a poisonous insect.
“Parzival’s health is more important than anything else in this world!” Cornelissen said. “I slept at the stables, checking up on Parzi every hour … I was not going to leave him alone! Of course I didn’t get any sleep …”
Like any caring pet parent would do, Cornelissen changed her priority to making sure Parzival was well and dropped out of the games.
“My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything for me his whole life does not deserve this …. So I saluted and left the arena,” she said.
Parzival is reportedly feeling much better and is back on his four hooves, probably thanks to the everlasting love and care from his proud owner!
SHARE if you’d do the same for an animal dear to your heart!