Christiansen clinches Games gold treble

04 September 2012 / 18:36

Sophie Christiansen became Britain's first triple gold medallist of the London 2012 Paralympics at Greenwich Park.

The 24-year-old, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, also secured a British Paralympic record 11 medals in one Games for Great Britain's equestrian team.

Christiansen, riding Janeiro 6, added Grade Ia freestyle gold to a team gold medal and individual championship title.

She rode three times during the six-day competition, and on each occasion scored more than 80%.

Her patriotic musical freestyle routine included excerpts from Land of Hope and Glory and also featured Big Ben's chimes plus a quotation from Shakespeare's Richard II, providing a fitting conclusion to the para-dressage programme.

Britain finished with 10 individual medals - four gold, five silver and a bronze - plus a fifth successive Paralympic team title.

But Christiansen, who has cerebral palsy, was the star performer in her third Paralympics, winning with a mammoth score of 84.750%.

She won a bronze medal as a 16-year-old in Athens eight years ago, then captured two golds and a silver in Beijing. She is also a reigning world and European champion.

In addition to her brilliant riding skills, Christiansen has a masters degree in mathematics from Royal Holloway University and currently works part-time as a statistician.

She received an MBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours List for services to disabled sport.