Age no barrier for Kiwi knight rider Todd

Sun May 8, 2016 7:56pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BADMINTON, England (Reuters) - Age is no barrier to Mark Todd, equestrian knight and double Olympic eventing gold medalist, even if disbelieving bus drivers may still demand to see the New Zealander's pass at the Rio Games in August.

At the 2012 London Olympics, as the 60-year-old recounted to Reuters at the weekend while competing in the Badminton Horse Trials, he was informed by one that the transport was for athletes only.

"I AM an athlete," he replied.

"It happened a couple of times in London actually," said the six-times Olympian with a wry smile.

"Another time I went to the village hairdresser and they said 'Sorry Sir, you can't have your hair cut. This is only for athletes'. So I was having to wave my card around a bit."

Tall and lean, Todd is very much an athlete -- his astonishing recovery from a near fall in the cross-country section at Badminton triggered gasps around the course -- and competitor.

"I've had to modify and work hard to stay competitive. And I still do," said the 1984 and 1988 individual Olympic eventing champion.

"Keeping up with these 20-somethings and 30-somethings, I've got to keep myself in shape."   Continued...