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Zara Phillips: The royal face of the London Games

July 24, 2012
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It is a dream come true for Zara Phillips to compete in London 2012.The Queen's oldest granddaughter was forced to withdraw from the last two Olympic Games after her horse Toytown was injured.

Zara Phillips

Now, in new mount High Kingdom, she faces the three disciplines of cross-country, dressage and showjumping with renewed optimism. "It's awesome to be given this opportunity. I'm really excited and can't wait to kick on and get him there," she said on hearing of her selection. Earning her place in Team GB also means Zara, 31, will follow in the footsteps of her parents. Her mother, the Princess Royal, competed at the 1976 Montreal Games and her father, Captain Mark Phillips, won gold at the 1972 Munich Games.

He is currently trainer of the US eventing team. In May, before her selection for Team GB, Zara brought Toytown out of retirement to join her for her leg of the Olympic torch relay, around Cheltenham racecourse.

Zara Phillips

"I did think that day at Cheltenham might be the closest I got to London 2012," she says. "It was great to get Toytown involved with it. He loved it." The Olympics mean Zara and rugby-player husband Mike Tindall will have to delay celebrating their first wedding anniversary on 30 July, but whether Zara wins a medal or not, Mike will know how to strike the right chord. "What we're both very good at is understanding what the other one is going through at certain times," he said recently.

Mike Tindall

"Sport is a rollercoaster. It brings massive highs but super lows, too. "We're good at understanding which part of the rollercoaster you're on. When you're at the top, you might sometimes need a little grounding, but when you're at the bottom you need all the support you can get." The equestrian eventing starts on July 28

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