SCONE’S Lisa Martin started packing her bags for Rio last month.
The talented rider had finally received the call she’d been waiting for – informing the local woman of her selection in the 2016 Australian Paralympic Equestrian team.
But, there was one catch: Martin couldn’t tell anyone until it became “official”.
That all changed this week when the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) announced she would join Sharon Jarvis, Emma Booth and Katie Umback on the equestrian arena at Deodoro Stadium.
The Scone Advocate announced her nomination to the team back in May and will be rooting for her when she gets to Rio.
“I think it was just relief that all the hard work and effort I’ve put in has paid off,” Martin told The Advocate.
“I’m excited but it hit me in a way like ‘oh my God’, this is really happening.
“It’s something that you work towards your whole life.
“It has been a dream of mine to represent my country; I think all riders who compete at dressage dream of doing it.”
Forty-four-year-old Martin admitted she will relish the unique opportunity of competing in Rio.
“It feels unbelievable to have been selected to represent Australia at the Paralympic Games,” she said.
“Competing at the pinnacle event of your sport is a wonderful opportunity and an experience not many people have.
“I’m looking forward to competing in Rio alongside a fabulous team of riders.”
2016 Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin is confident of a good showing in September.
“London 2012 saw the equestrian outfit win Australia’s very first Paralympic gold medal of the Games,” she said.
“And, although there will be just 11 medals on offer in Rio, we’ve got high hopes that Sharon, Emma, Katie and Lisa can enhance our country’s record of success in para-equestrian.
“It will be tough, but I’m confident in our team’s ability to succeed.”
At the completion of the Paralympics, which take place from September 7 to 18, Martin will head to Germany for training.
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