Nick Skelton: BBC Sports Personality 2016 contender

Nick Skelton
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016
Date: Sunday, 18 December. Venue: Genting Arena, Birmingham. Time: 18:40-21:00 GMT. Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website

We are showcasing each of the 16 contenders in the run-up to the Sports Personality of the Year award on 18 December. Today - Nick Skelton and Kate Richardson-Walsh.

Nick Skelton - Age: 58 Sport: Equestrian

Year in a nutshell

Show jumper Nick Skelton finally claimed an individual Olympic title at his seventh Games - aged 58, he was Britain's second oldest Olympic gold medallist.

Having initially retired 16 years ago after breaking his neck in two places, the Warwickshire rider won on Big Star following a six-way jump-off.

Joshua Millner, who secured shooting gold in 1908 at the age of 61, is the only person older than Skelton to have won Olympic gold for GB.

How he got here

Nick Skelton on his first pony Oxo

He began riding at just 18 months on a Welsh pony called Oxo, who was born in the same year as him and lived to the age of 39.

Skelton would later skip school without his parents' knowledge to ride horses and his first major competition win came at 17, when he took individual gold at the 1975 European Jumping Championships for Juniors.

It was the beginning of a career which has yielded 10 European and six World Championship medals, a World Cup title and more than 60 Grand Prix events.

He holds the British record for jumping the highest fence when clearing over 7ft 7ins on Lastic in 1978 and won the Hickstead Derby three times in the 1980s.

Skelton broke his neck in a fall in September 2000 which could have ended his career, but after retiring he recovered and began competing again in 2002. He has also had a hip replacement and two knee operations.

He claimed team gold at London 2012 and in Rio provided Britain's first individual show jumping gold, and the first medal of any colour, since Ann Moore's silver 44 years earlier.

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GB's Nick Skelton wins show jumping gold

What he said: "For me to do this now at my age is amazing."

What you say

Archie Moffat: "I think Nick Skelton deserves it. To come back from such a bad fall and then win individual gold is unbeatable."

Rebecca Turner: "Nick Skelton for me all the way, what a fantastic rider and almost 60 years of age - go Nick, go"

Sam George: "Nick Skelton has been through and achieved so much. A long and successful career would be so nice for him to be rewarded. Most athletes LOOOONG retired by his age - not raising their game and winning medals."

Sports Personality record: First nomination. A show jumper has triumphed before - David Broome in 1960.

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BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016: Nick Skelton on inspiring older athletes

Get Inspired

Horse riding is a unique activity where the bond you create with the horse can be beneficial physically and mentally.

Visit the Get Inspired website to find out more on how to get into equestrian sports.