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Digital Subscriptions > > RIDING HIGH


Spencer Wilton was one of a record number of openly-gay athletes at the Rio Olympics. In his first gay media interview he tells Winq about making his country proud, a lifelong obsession with horses and life as a rural gay man

Arriving at Spencer Wilton’s stables, we’re greeted by a flurry of activity; horses are being shod, fed, and groomed, while others are being trained in the paddocks. Around us, dogs lollop in the sunshine, ignoring their prizewinning stablemates. Wilton, looking casual in jeans, sweater and gilet, bounds over and flashes a big grin. He’s tall for a horse rider and every inch the dashing Olympic sportsman, totally at ease in this rural idyll. Once introductions are over, our next order of business is to meet the other half of this sporting partnership; Super Nova II (or ‘Neville’ as Wilton fondly calls him), the horse who was instrumental in helping Wilton secure a team silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. He’s a breathtaking animal, groomed, glistening and rippling with power.

When Britain brought home 67 medals from Rio last year, it was the biggest haul since 1908, putting the nation in second place for the first time ever. But last year’s Games were also setting records for other reasons. Brazil welcomed 56 out and proud LGBT+ athletes, more than any Olympic Games in history. For comparison, there were 12 openly-gay Olympians at the Beijing Games in 2008 (and just one of those was a gay man), and 23 at the London Games in 2012.

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