Nick Skelton of Britain has a metal left hip, once broke his neck and his back aches so much that he needs a stepladder to mount his horse, Big Star.
On Friday, all the pain and years finally paid off in gold in his seventh Olympics.
Skelton, 58, survived a six-man jump-off to become equestrian's oldest gold medalist, riding a third clean round in 42.82 seconds on his stallion Big Star to hold off two past champions in this event. Skelton appeared on the verge of tears at the culmination of so many years and injuries finally landing him on top of the medal podium.
"I'm so happy," said Skelton, who turns 59 in December. "I've had a long, long career...