WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., (PR Newswire) — Boyd Martin competed in the equestrian events at the Olympic Games in London. A first-time Olympian, Martin’s story captured the hearts of equestrians and fans of the sport around the world. USA Today highlights his journey to the Olympics—and the perseverance and determination that it took to get him there. Cesar Parra, founder of Piaffe-Performance, believes that Martin should serve as an inspiration to athletes around the world, as his dedication to his sport and his drive to succeed highlight the positive attitude that it takes to make it to the Olympics.
The article reports that Martin has had to overcome many obstacles—both personal and sports-related. The first of these challenges was a tragic fire at the True Prospect Farm in eastern Pennsylvania. Six horses died in this 2011 catastrophe.
“It was one of those horrific things that I cannot stop thinking about…every day,” comments Martin. “Driving up to the farm, I saw a massive orange glow in the sky. I knew right then that my life was about to change drastically. It’s something that will stay with me forever.”
Martin and Phillip Dutton, who is Martin’s coach and friend, as well as an Olympic gold medal winner, saved two horses from the fire. It was one of these horses, Neville Bardos, which Martin brought with him to London as a backup mount. To save him, the article reports that Martin “overpowered a fire marshal […] charged into the building, pulling his T-shirt over his head in an attempt to mitigate the smoke so he could breathe.”
Cesar Parra believes that the heroic actions of Martin reveal the bond that can form between horse and rider. He teaches his students to respect and trust their horses, and Martin exemplifies these qualities.
Just five weeks after the fire, Martin’s father died in a cycling accident in Australia. Dutton believes that, despite all of the recent tragedies that have occurred, Martin has risen above the circumstances and accomplished great things.
“He is a very strong man now—not physically but emotionally,” Dutton states. “To be a great sportsman, you need to be like that. He’s been through a lot. He had two ways to go. He could either mope about it or work harder.”
“The tremendous turmoil that Boyd Martin has endured puts into perspective how each day spent with family, friends, and horses is something to be cherished,” remarks Cesar Parra. “I truly respect and admire Boyd for persevering through some exceedingly turbulent times and rising on top.”