‘This Is Hard To Watch’: Olympian Breaks Down In Tears While Riding Horse That Refuses To Do Much Of Anything

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Kendall Tietz Education Reporter
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German olympian Annika Schleu’s dreams were dashed during the riding portion of the modern pentathlon competition when a randomly assigned, unfamiliar horse refused to do many of the required jumps, bringing her to tears mid-event.

Schleu came in fourth in the Women’s pentathlon in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and was back in Tokyo to win a title, but she broke down in tears Friday in what one commentator called “an absolute real life nightmare” while riding the random horse she was assigned for the riding portion of the event. Schleu was in the lead in the women’s five-discipline competition heading into the third event. (RELATED: Gwen Berry Fails To Earn A Medal At The Olympics)

“This is hard to watch,” said a commentator for Eurosport. “This is hard to commentate on, to be honest. I think she realizes all hopes are over and she has lost her concentration and she has lost her chance at an Olympic title. Her face says it all.”

The modern pentathlon, consisting of fencing, swimming, show riding, shooting and running, continued Friday. British pentathlete Kate French won gold.

A few horses were spooked by a realistic looking, life-sized statue of a sumo wrestler during another Olympic competition Tuesday night. A few horses stopped short of the obstacle, which led to penalty points that prevented some from qualifying for the individual jumping final.

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