Aldergrove’s Lauren Barwick won both gold and silver at the 2008 Paralympic Games. She is once again representing Canada at the Games in London

Aldergrove’s Barwick ‘doing it for Canada’

Four years after winning gold and silver at the Paralympic Games, Lauren Barwick is gunning for the podium once again

What a difference four years makes.

At the 2008 Paralympic Games, Barwick captured both a gold and silver medal in Para-Dressage events.

The gold was the first ever in Paralympic equestrian for Canada.

“There are two different feelings to it this time,” Barwick said in an email to The Times from London last week, where she is preparing to represent Canada for a second time at the Paralympic Games.

The Games begin Aug. 29 and run until Sept. 12.

“First, there is lots of pressure now,” she said. “There are new expectations from the world since they know I am capable, so now I don’t want to let people down.

“Before, I was still in search of a medal with hopes of winning one, but not such an expectation.”

There is also a feeling of relief, already having reached the pinnacle of her sport.

“This time, I am doing it for Canada and my supporters,” she said.

“More than anything, I wish my fellow teammates to be able to have the feeling of success I have.”

Barwick, who turns 35 next month (Sept. 12), has been riding horses since she was seven years old and as she got older, competed in both eventing and show jumping.

Her life took an unpredictable turn in 2000 when a bale of hay from an unstable stack fell on top of her. Barwick was left with a broken back and was paralyzed from her waist down.

One year after the accident, Barwick began focusing on para-equestrian sport with the help of coach Sandra Verda.

Barwick said she was always confident in her abilities.

“I always had high ambitions and set high goals for myself and am pleased that I was able to achieve them,” Barwick said.

“The road has had some huge barriers in it and I now call them ‘my daily dose of how bad do you want this?’ test.”

She added that she could not have made it as far as she has without support from her friends, family, sponsors, and of course, her country.

“In every way imaginable, the unconditional support from family and friends has been beyond believable,” Barwick said.

“When I think they have done more than their share to support me, they go the extra mile for me.”

Barwick, who earlier this year achieved her 4-star Parelli professional instructor rating, has been training in Florida and is also a senoir protege and mentor in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship’s Mastery Program.

She credited the sponsorship she receives from Parelli, as well as support from Sport Canada, Athletes CAN and the Own the Podium program for allowing her to not work and just focus on training.

Another change has been her horse. In 2008, she rode Maile to the podium, but in London, she will be aboard Off to Paris, a 2001 Chestnut Oldenburg mare owned by Equine Canada, and Ferdonia 1, a 1999 German Oldenburg mare Barwick owns.

Barwick has loaned Maile to one of her fellow Team Canada riders, Ashley Gowanlock

Just Posted

Wire theft on the rise again in Langley City

As world price for copper rises, more incidents are being reported

Olympics spark rekindles Langley’s interest in curling

A series of open houses at the curling centre this week help introduce people to the sport.

LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Is it really a weed, or a plant?

Advance columnist Pam Erikson talks about weeds versus plants, and offers some plant sale dates.

Counting down to Earth Hour in Langley

This Saturday, Township residents are being asked to turn off their non-essential items for an hour.

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Viewer Photos: First day of Spring around British Columbia

Our loyal viewers sent us some of their favourite Spring photos from all corners of the province

Five Canadian kids charged with making school threats

Police say online threats are on the rise

Not even Ellen DeGeneres can get Virtue, Moir to say they’re more than friends

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday

RCMP warn public to stop pouring gas on fires after three incidents

Police responded to three recent incidents that sent seven people to hospital

BCHL Today: Surrey Eagles in the driver’s seat and Ethan Martini takes a seat

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

New Liberal bill would tighten controls on sale, licensing of firearms in Canada

Measures are intended to assist police in investigating gun trafficking and other crimes

Murder charges upgraded for B.C. man accused of killing wife and daughters

Crown approved new information on Jacob Forman’s file

Most Read