By Amanda

LifeBuzz Staff

Olympic Athlete Quits The Rio Games To Save Her Sick Horse.

If they're talented and skilled enough to make it to the Olympics, one has to assume that they've also dedicated thousands of hours of hard work and sweat to their craft. In the case of the dressage competitors, it's not just about the athlete: It's about their horses, too. The rider and the animal form an amazing bond, and this story is a testament to the lengths these particular athletes will go to protect their animals -- even if it means sacrificing their chance to achieve gold.

The story is about a Dutch dressage rider named Adelinde Cornelissen. She and her horse were set to win big, but then something unplanned and totally unlucky happened, causing Cornelissen to rethink the entire competition. She posted about her experience below, and you won't believe what she did to preserve the health and wellness of her favorite animal, even if it meant that she'd sacrifice her dreams.

This is Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen.

She's won dozens of awards and accolades for her sport, including Olympic silver and bronze, as well as World and European gold medals. She's won all of them with her horse, Parzival

This is Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen.


But this year, things went a little bit differently than the pair had planned.

“The first days in Rio went according to plan: a relaxed flight, stabling good, training good,” Adelinde wrote on Facebook. “Parzival feels happy and fit.”

But instead of finishing out the Games, Adelinde decided to retire mid-test — in the middle of the arena, with thousands of people watching.

Scroll down to see the incredible and powerful reason why Adelinde and Parzival’s story of ultimate friendship is going viral…

But in the middle of the games, Adelinde suddenly quit.

What could have possibly caused this athlete to take her horse and abandon the goal they worked so hard to achieve?

But in the middle of the games, Adelinde suddenly quit.

Ken Braddick/Dressage News

She explained what happened on her Facebook page.

"I planned to train early on Tuesday morning, so I was at the stable at 6am. Saying good morning to Parzival, I saw the right side of his head was swollen, he had been kicking the walls. I took his temperature: he had a fever of over 40 degrees Celcius, but he still didn’t look sick. He was eating and drinking and while walking I had a hard time keeping up with him, as always.”

She explained what happened on her Facebook page.

It turned out, the horse was afflicted by something out of everyone's control.

"After double checking with the vets here they concluded he was bitten by an insect or spider or some sort of animal, which produces toxins."

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