defying vertigo

Birgitte Reitan has actually chosen the completely wrong sport. Because she has a fear of heights. Fortunately, she can compensate with a strong competitive instinct.

- When I'm on the horse, I must focus on something else than the long way down. I'd rather concentrate on the good feeling of achievement, she says.

Birgitte is traveling to Rio with a debutants humility:

- Dressage Riding is a technically very difficult sport, and I'm still very young compared to the average of the athletes in this sport. I'm no medal contender, but I'm here to learn, so I hopefully can be the best sometime in the future.

The 23-year-old started to learn dressage four years ago, and has competed in just two years. Yet she fears that her sports career may be over almost before it has begun.

- It is very expensive to compete with dressage riding. If I don't get a new sponsor, I am forced to retire after Rio, she fears.

Name: Birgitte Reitan
Age: 23
Location: Skedsmo
Sports: Dressage Riding
Achievements: Gold medal in Nordic Championships 2014, silver medal in Nordic championship 2015. Gold medals in national championship in 2014 and 2015.
Goals in Rio: learning, so that I can become the best in the future. I hope for a final.
When I succeed in my sport, I feel: Joy - about achieving something I've been working for a long time and sacrificed a lot to achieve.