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  • Lis Hartel was an equestrian from Denmark. She was originally coached by her mother, Else Holst, but began to be coached by professional horseman Gunnar Andersen when she became nationally competitive. She was the Danish dressage champion in 1943 and 1944. In September 1944 at age 23 she contracted polio, which permanently paralyzed her below the knees, as well as affecting her arms and hands. She was pregnant at the time, but had a healthy daughter. Hartel was determined to continue her equestrian career despite medical advice otherwise, and in 1947 she finished second at the Scandinavian championships, although she had to be helped onto her horse when she rode. Dressage at the Olympics was open only to commissioned military officers until 1952, and in 1952 Hartel was one of the first women to compete against men in an equestrian sport at the Olympics. Her silver medal in 1952 for Individual Dressage was the first by any woman in any individual sport when in direct competition with men at the Olympics, and she was also the Danish champion in dressage that year. She continued to be Danish champion in dressage in 1953, 1954, 1956 and 1959.

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