Nick Skelton winning the Olympic gold medal in Rio was somewhat distracting for those of us watching from the sofa at home. All eyes were firmly on Nick. And Big Star. And no one else.
Which meant we weren’t paying a huge amount of attention to Sweden’s silver medallist Peder Fredricson as he took to the podium. But now we’ve had time to breathe, we’ve realised we may have missed a trick there. Here are six reasons we are (just a little bit) in awe of him…
1. He’s no one trick pony
Thirty-four-year-old Peder may have clinched the individual silver medal for showjumping in Rio aboard H&H All In in August last year, but he made his Olympic debut as an eventer with Hilly Trip in Barcelona in 1992, when he finished 14th as an individual.
2. He juggles top-level sport and fatherhood with aplomb
Peder has three children (Carsten, Hjalmar and Bill) with his wife Lisen, who is also a showjumper. And he has high hopes for them — he’d love it if at least one of his children followed him into the sport.
3. He’s a hit with the public
Earlier this week (16 January), Peder scooped up the ‘Jerring Prize’ at the Swedish Sports Gala — Sweden’s most prestigious sports award for an athlete who has had particular success in the past year. The Swedish public cast their votes for the nominees — and Peder managed to fight off all the competition including one of the world’s best golfers Henrik Stenson.
4. He has a back-up plan
While most of us would be happy if our talents stretched to Olympic-level showjumping, Peder is also a graphic designer. He won a competition run by the FEI to design new pictograms for each of the seven sports the federation governs and he also designed the logo for the Sweden International Horse Show. Oh, and he is effortlessly eloquent, speaking German as well as Swedish and English.
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There’s a reason that Peder was snapped up to be H&M’s poster boy…
6. His horses come first
Peder’s horses can kick back in the fields at his stunning yard in southern Sweden, complete with sea views — and the stable walls have windows to allow the horses to interact.