Former Langley resident Lauren Barwick

GoFundMe page aids rider’s road to Rio

Lauren Barwick is set to compete in her fourth Paralympic Games.

A highly decorated Paralympian needs your help.

Former Langley resident Lauren Barwick, a 4 star Parelli Professional and a three-time Canadian Paralympian, is prepping for her fourth Paralympics, this time in Rio de Janeiro.

During Barwick’s impressive career, she won a gold and silver medal in the 2008 games in Beijing, and most recently, a silver and bronze medal at the 2014 World games in Normandy France.

She is Canada’s No. 1-ranked Para Equestrian rider, and received the Canadian Equestrian of the year award for 2008 and 2014.

To attend her fourth games, Barwick has had to focus these past few months on solely training. But this dedication to training has impacted Barwick financially.

This is why a GoFundMe page has been created, to help her realize her goal.

Click here to visit the page.

As of Monday afternoon, she was $8,585 towards her $15,000 goal.

“In doing so [training], there is quickly a realization of the financial hardship that comes with the territory of being a performance athlete, not just me but maintaining a competitive horse,” Barwick noted on her GoFundMe page. “I ask you to please support my goal and join me in making this games another to write home about.”

Barwick wrote that funds raised will go toward basic living expenses, “freeing me to concentrate my final efforts on training, dieting, and exercising and weight lifting every day. Rent, utilities, groceries, equestrian equipment, and performance vet care for Onyx.”

When Barwick broke her back in 2000 and became paralyzed, she never thought she’d would ride or dance again.

“Horsemanship and competitive sport has given me my legs back, allowed me to see the world, and dance better then I ever could,” she said, adding, “With the support of my friends and family, I have been able to pursue what I love, competing in equestrianism at the highest level.  I have had the opportunity to be able to take my love for horses into a level of horsemanship and make a career out of it.”

In return for donations, Barwick is offering gifts which were donated to help her cause.

She will randomly select people from the donation list to receive these “gifts of appreciation.”

“I am looking forward to bringing all my supporters from around the world on a magical journey down the centre line in the equestrian arena in Rio,” Barwick wrote on her GoFundMe page.  “Uniting with my teammates to inspire and motivate the rest of the world to pursue personal excellence in each day.”

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