New exhibition launched today starring Sophie Christiansen

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Para-dressage rider Sophie Christiansen is the star of a new portrait and sculpture to be unveiled at Heathrow airport’s Terminal 5 Expo Fine Art Gallery later today (Wednesday, 27 July).

Both pieces are being launched to mark one year until the beginning of the London 2012 Olympics. They will be displayed in a free exhibition until 18 August.

The portrait, by Lesley Thiel, is of grade 1A para-dressage rider Sophie, and her 2010 World Equestrian Games gold-medal winning partner Rivaldo of Berkeley.

“Sophie’s Spirit of Sport” is a sculpture by Susan Leyland inspired by Sophie and her 2008 Beijing gold medal-winning mount, Lambrusco III

A spokesman for the gallery said: “Sophie is the most amazing athlete and an inspiration to so many.”

The artwork will form part of the cultural legacy of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.