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Rose treads a thorny path to Olympic bronze

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Shane Rose has broken just about everything, except his spirit.

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Few Olympians have suffered for their sport like Rose and few probably deserved a gold medal as much as the Australian equestrian.

But just when he needed a break to go his way, the three day eventing teams gold medal that was in his sights on Tuesday morning faded into bronze by the afternoon.

Rose has been through enough to appreciate perspective.

He’s overcome cancer, had his face rebuilt, been in a coma, broken both arms, both legs, both wrists, ribs and a thumb.

He’s punctured a lung and split a liver.

And even though he’s been selected for four Olympics, he had to pull out of Atlanta and London when his horses were injured on the eve of the Games.

He was bitterly disappointed with a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics, but is content with bronze in Rio.

“I’m stoked that the boys managed to get me a medal, not being able to contribute today,” Rose said.

“We obviously came here wanting to win a gold medal, we’ve come away with a bronze.”

He pushed his mount CP Qualified a bit too hard in the cross country on Monday and after two refusals, the grey gelding was eliminated from the rest of the competition.

Rose could only sit and watch the show jumping on the final day on Tuesday as Australia was left to the minimum three riders – Chris Burton, Sam Griffiths and Stuart Tinney – without the buffer of a fourth to discard.

“I felt like I needed to be able to contribute to get the gold medal, I feel like I’ve let the boys down a bit in that aspect,” Rose said.

“But it’s a team sport and I’m really pleased I was able to get on the podium with these guys.”

He went for broke in the cross country after Burton, Griffiths and Tinney had clear runs.

With the team in the gold medal position, they gave him the all clear to go hard for individual points, but it proved a fatal decision.

“He decided to really go for it and in going for it you risk everything and unfortunately it didn’t pay off for him,” Burton said.

“But he’s been unbelievable. He’s been the anchor of our team, he’s been the captain, he’s been so supportive.”

-AAP

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