Triple Olympic equestrian silver medallist Kevin Freeman has died at the age of 81.
The American’s son stated that he died peacefully while surrounded by his family and that funeral services are set to be communicated soon.
Freeman’s first major success came in 1963 when he helped the United States to a team eventing gold medal at the Pan American Games in São Paulo.
At the same Games, he took silver in the individual three-day event, losing out to compatriot Michael Page as the US won all five equestrian titles at the Games.
He was then a member of the silver medal-winning team at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games while placing 12th individually.
The Mexico City 1968 Olympics saw him help the team repeat the feat again before he was instrumental to the runner-up side at Munich 1972.
“He was a beautiful rider.
Born in Portland, Freeman was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and then the US Eventing Association Hall of Fame in 2009 alongside Good Mixture.
“He was a natural rider,” said double Olympic champion John Michael Plumb, as reported by The Oregonian.
“He could get on anything and ride it.
“He didn’t need a lot of practice.
“He was a very instinctive rider.
“He was made to ride horses.
“He didn’t have all the time in the world, because he had to work and travel.”
Freeman is survived by his wife Barrie, four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Freeman was the highest-placing American in the event as he rode Good Mixture.
“He was very, very competitive,” said Bruce Davidson, a team-mate of Freeman’s on the 1972 Olympic team, as reported by The Oregonian.
“In the most honest, friendliest, and proper way.
“A true gentleman.