Equestrian Gillian Rolton with her Olympic medals, which she won in 1992 and 1996. (Supplied)
Equestrian legend Gillian Rolton, who died of cancer yesterday, has been remembered at the Australian International Three Day Event.
A video highlighting athlete’s achievements was played to the crowd at the event in South Australia.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist, who was remembered as a hardworking trailblazer, was the first Australian woman to win Olympic and world championship equestrian events.
Her death came after a two-year fight with endometrial cancer and in the middle of the three-day event which she directed for 10 years.
Rolton was well known for her performance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when she won a team gold medal despite a fall five minutes into the event which left her with a broken collarbone and fractured ribs.
The Atlanta team (from left) Andrew Hoy, Wendy Schaffer, Phillip Dutton and Gillian Rolton. (Supplied)
Wendy Schaffer competed alongside Rolton at those Olympic Games and was at the tribute.
“She’s done so much more for the sport than anyone has done before,” Schaffer said.
“She always had that belief that she could do it, and she did.
“Even at the last minute in Barcelona and Atlanta she was reserved, she just kept fighting and she came out with gold medals, so that’s quite an amazing story by her.”
Lord Mayor Martin Haese met with Rolton recently to present her with a key to the City of Adelaide.
He said he was sure Rolton was determined to live until the equestrian competition was underway.
“Gill is a beautiful soul, she is just a stunning woman who is passionate about South Australia, a great leader and terrific contributor to our city through the international three-day event.”
Government offers family state funeral
Premier Jay Weatherill said a state funeral has been offered to Rolton’s family.
“A dual gold medallist, a massive advocate for greater levels of awareness in relation to the scourge of cancer, she has played this critical role in making an international horse event South Australia’s great event,” Mr Weatherill said.
“All of those things make her a great Australian, a great South Australian, and I think it’s appropriate that she be honoured in this way.
“She is obviously a woman of extraordinary talent but also of great courage, but also for South Australia she has been an extraordinary promoter of the horse industry.”
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