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All Quotes by author - Lee Pearson
" Before taking up dressage, I'd distanced myself from the Paralympics because I hadn't wanted to be defined by my disability. Then when I grew up and got an office job, things started to change. I'm actually allergic to horses, but I'm even more allergic to paperwork! "
" I always say I'm one of the most normal abnormal people you'll ever meet. I get embarrassed about how many medals I've won, and I get angry when people presume that because you're gay you've got to wear pink and stilettos and camp it up, or that if you're disabled you should act like a victim and not have a life. "
" I couldn't pedal a bike as a child, so I had a donkey instead. I loved the power and freedom it had. "
" I don't just love riding; I love horses. I was in the field at my yard watching them gallop around and play the other day. That's what keeps me going, and sometimes it has to be something more than just winning. "
" I feel lucky that I found my talent, not unlucky that I was born with a disability. When I'm on a horse, I'm more worried about what the riding hat is doing to my hair than what my bent legs and arms are doing. What riding has given me is respect. "
" If you don't like something, change it. My parents expected me to stay in my office job as an administrator at the Co-op because I'm disabled, but I said no and changed my whole life. "
" I had a donkey called Sally that I used to call my BMX bike. As a child, I wasn't a very good horse rider: I thought falling off was normal, and I would just get back on again. I didn't realise you weren't meant to fall off. "
" I joke that the Olympics is the warm-up to the Paralympics. "
" I just love the development of horses, getting into their brains, making them more athletic and powerful, responsive, and I'm rubbish at everything else. "
" I'm a gay disabled man who has become very successful. I don't get up in the morning and think I'm inspirational; I just get up thinking that I love horses. "
" I'm just a genetic freak, but it has never stopped me from doing whatever I want to. "
" I'm not really into the fame thing. I've met so many celebrities now, and everybody's just the same. I'm a bit of a family bird. "
" I think it's phenomenal and expected that Paralympians will take on able bodied people more and more. In dressage, it happens all the time. But there are very few adaptions, and they are never allowed to give you an advantage. "
" I understand when people think dressage is boring. But while your standard horse is like driving a Fiesta, our horses are like driving Formula One cars. I can't breathe without the horse reacting. You are training another being to become really responsive and athletic and powerful. "
" I've dominated past competitions, but I've sweated blood and tears for every medal. I take nothing for granted, and I'm fully focused on doing my best. "
" I've got a quad bike, which I've raced against neighbours. You could give me a go-kart with a lawnmower engine - I'd still have fun. I like jet skis, speedboats, all the boys' toys. "
" I've stayed in the best hotels in the world, but you could put me in prison, and I'd still have fun. "
" I've thought about adopting, but I'm a bit paranoid that because I'm gay and disabled I'd be put straight off the list. My mother thinks that I would jump the queue because they like minorities adopting. I have great genes, though, and I would like to pass them on. "
" My life's been surreal from start to finish. "
" My motivation is paying the mortgage. No joke. Honestly. I still suffer with nerves and think, 'Why am I putting myself through this torture?' It's not actually the love of winning - it's that building of a partnership with a horse. Just riding horses every day keeps me going. And that threat of losing the mortgage. "
" Paralympics has always had to push the media into it being about sport and not focusing on the disability. "
" The Paralympic Games actually turned my whole mentality around about disability. When you're in the Paralympic athletes' village and there are 4,000 disabled people, you stop seeing disability. Totally. "
" When I pull my white Range Rover into disabled parking bays, the abuse that I get until I actually get out on my crutches is phenomenal, because people presume that you couldn't possibly be disabled and reverse a white Range Rover into that parking space. "
" When people chat to me about my childhood and getting into horses, they're like, 'Was it like the birds sang and the sun came out? Was it an amazing experience?' I'm like, 'No, it was rubbish. I was frightened. I was pretty unbalanced, and most ponies took advantage of me.' "
" Whether I'm riding a horse or driving a car, I'm feeling them, judging what they're doing, trying to work out what I can take them up to. "
" You know that the world is a better place when people can come up to a severely disabled person and say: 'Well done. You are an inspiration.' "
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