50 worldwide contenders for 2012: Anky van Grunsven

Equestrian (dressage)


Born: 02/01/68

Career highlights

The queen of dressage is looking to bow out in style with her fourth consecutive gold at her seventh Olympics. She has also won four team silvers with the Netherlands and has a record eight Olympic dressage medals in total.

Her first individual gold came on Bonfire, with the following two on Salinero. She is a nine-time World Cup dressage champion.

Did you know?

She was pregnant when she won Olympic gold in Athens and now has a son and daughter.

In her hometown of Erp, a life-sized bronze statue of Bonfire (her gold medal-winning horse at the 2000 Olympics), graces the town green.

She was the Netherlands' flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympics.


Van Grunsven, who got her first pony (a Shetland called Heleentje) at the age of six, has her own clothing line and there are also 'Anky' children's books and computer games.