“Being told you can’t do something is the world’s greatest motivator,” says Shane Rose, who was named to the Rio-bound Australian Olympic Eventing Team earlier this week with CP Qualified.
As an athlete Shane has enjoyed both highs — including a team silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing — and lows. Twice previously after being named to the team horse injuries kept him from competing. He had already arrived in the U.S. in preparation for the 1996 Games in Atlanta when his mount, Mr. Joe Cool, went lame. He also missed the 2012 Games in London when his mount that year, Taurus, sustained a shoulder injury at the start of the competition.
“Setbacks happen; you need to learn from the mistakes. I feel like I’ve done that,” Shane told Equestrian Australia after being named to the 2016 squad.
“I want to win a gold medal. I want to be the best in the world. You don’t need a lot of extra motivation. Every stone has been turned, but horses are unique creatures. It’s not as though I’m just preparing myself. Things happen; we just have to deal with them as best as we can.”
Competitive setbacks are one thing, but Shane has been confronted with higher-stakes challenges as well — of the life-or-death variety. In addition to having his thyroid removed after contracting cancer, over the course of the last 15 years Shane has broken both arms, twice; broken both his legs; underwent a tracheotomy and some facial reconstruction after getting kicked; and, just last year, broke five ribs, punctured a lung, suffered a split liver and had a severe bacterial infection.
And yet here Shane is in 2016, still standing, still fighting, still loving his sport, and now gearing up to represent his country on the world’s biggest stage.
Go Shane. Go Eventing.