LGBTI global news 24-7

Gay Paralympian Lee Pearson going for 12 gold medals

Paralympics British athlete may think more about his hair than his legs, but the equestrian athlete is hoping for success
British born Lee Pearson is going for 12 golds in the Paralympic Games.

Gay para-equestrian athlete Lee Pearson is going for his 10th, 11th and 12th Paralympic gold medals.

The Briton, who has won three sets of three dressage gold medals consecutively at the last three Games, is hoping to win again at the home Paralympics.

In an interview with The Telegraph, he said: ‘I’m not going to get depressed, and I’m not going to put myself under undue pressure going for the 12 gold medals.

‘If I don’t get the medals I want, I’d go to Rio in 2016 and try and achieve it there.’

If he wins three more in London, he will surpass British wheelchair racer Tanni ­Grey-Thompson’s record of 11 golds.

One of the most successful Paralympic athletes of all time, Pearson often jokes that while he has won 28 gold medals in total during his athletic career, he has one silver ‘which we won’t dwell on’.

Pearson was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, a rare disorder meaning his muscles grew like scar tissue in the womb, leaving his limbs twisted.

In a preview for the London 2012 games, he said: ‘My own life makes me laugh. Even though the disability is the most obvious thing you can see, I am actually so lucky I have been born with a talent.

‘My awful sense of humor makes me focus on whether my hair is in place than what my arms and legs are doing.’

On Monday (3 September), Pearson will compete in the freestyle competition to music, and has promised it will showcase Britain properly.

He says: ‘It’s a chance to show mine and [horse] Gentleman’s musicality and personality.

‘While I’m keeping our music choice under wraps, I can say that’ll it be very British.

‘I’m feeling positive for three more medals.’

Pearson is one of only two openly gay Paralympians. The other is Claire Harvey, another member of the British team, who will be competing in the sitting volleyball.

Comment on a news story