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1984 Olympic gold medalist retires

Eminent Media Session

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13: Trainer Sir Mark Todd speaks to the media after watching UK racehorse Eminent have a gallop at Canterbury Park Horse and Quarantine Centre on March 13, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Eminent is entered in the Group 1 $700,000 Ranvet Stakes on Longines Golden Slipper Day, on 23 March. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

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Mark Todd, a seven-time Olympic equestrian who earned his first gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, announced his retirement from eventing at age 63 to focus on horse racing.

“I had been thinking about it for some time,” Todd said, according to New Zealand’s equestrian federation. “The opportunity came up at the end of last year with the racing, and I can’t keep going (with eventing) forever. I had initially thought I may stay on for one more Olympic Games, but since I got back into the racing my attention has been taken away from the eventing, and I was finding it harder and harder to focus on the eventing.”

Todd, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) “Rider of the 20th Century,” earned a New Zealand record six Olympic medals, including individual eventing gold in 1984 and 1988 aboard Charisma. Todd later wrote a 112-page book about Charisma, after he sold his dairy farm to get to the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Todd previously retired for eight years between competing at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics.

“There will be no comeback this time,” he said.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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