Beatrice De Lavalette
As a junior rider, de Lavalette was a European champion in able-bodied competition. At age 17, she lost both legs below the knee in a 2016 terrorist attack at the Brussels airport. Despite a four-month hospital stay to recover from her injuries, she was back in competition a year later. Setting her sights on the Tokyo Games, de Lavalette began working with Florida trainer Shayna Simon, using the extra year afforded by the COVID postponement to continue improving. Her competition horse, Clarc, is a Dutch Warmblood. De Lavalette will be appearing in her first Paralympics.
Away from the stable:
De Lavalette is a business student at the University of San Diego. She aspires to launch her own adaptive sporting-equipment company.
In their own words:
“Every time I get picked to represent the United States, it’s a big moment for me. It just shows me that I put the work in to get picked—and it’s not just a gift—it’s something that you really have to work towards. Even if it’s just representing the United States for one show, that’s a really special moment for me.”
“Every time I look at my wounds, they inevitably bring me back to what happened that morning. But that doesn’t stop me from living. I persevere, I move forward, I fight to live.”
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but I wouldn’t take it back. It hasn’t stopped me from living my life.”
- Sport: Equestrian
- Limb Difference: Bilateral below knee
- DOB: November 29, 1998
- Residence: Lake Worth Beach, FL