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Eric Lamaze

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameEric•Lamaze
Used nameEric•Lamaze
Born17 April 1968 in Montréal, Québec (CAN)
Measurements170 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsTorrey Pines Stables
NOC Canada

Biography

As a junior rider, Canadian Eric Lamaze showed great promise to emerge as one of Canada’s great international equestrians. He entered grand prix jumping in 1992 and, within one year, was named to the Canadian national team, making his first major appearance at the 1994 World Equestrian Games. His career was nearly derailed in 1996, however, when his drug tests for the 1996 Summer Olympics came up positive for cocaine. He received a four-year suspension and was barred from participating in the Games. It was later decided that his personal circumstances – growing up with a mother who dealt drugs most prominent among them – were sufficient to have his ban lifted in time to participate at the 1998 World Equestrian Games. One year later he picked up a bronze medal in the team jumping event at the 1999 Pan American Games.

Lamaze was then offered an opportunity to represent his country at the 2000 Summer Olympics, but received lifetime banishment from the sport after testing for a forbidden stimulant. Believing his career to be over, he went to a party immediately after hearing his result and smoked a cigarette laced with cocaine. Less than two days later, however, the test that he failed was stricken from the record and he was given another opportunity to pass it and attend the Games. He failed again, this time for cocaine, and although he again avoided a lifelong ban, Canadian officials still refused to send him to Sydney.

Lamaze made one more comeback attempt and, by 2008, had become the first Canadian equestrian in two decades to be ranked among the top ten in the world. He also had two more Pan American medals under his belt from 2007: silver from the team jumping competition and bronze in the individual. In 2008 he finally made it to the Olympics and did not disappoint, capturing gold in the individual jumping tournament and silver in the team version. Although his champion horse Hickstead died in November 2011, Lamaze decided against retirement in the hopes of finding another to compete with for the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he finished 29th in the individual event and 5th in the team competition.

Lamaze finally completed his medal collection at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, when he took bronze individually and fourth in the team event. In-between, he won the team jumping event at the 2015 Pan American Games. After learning he had brain cancer, he took some time off, but kept his diagnosis a secret and returned to compete at the 2018 World Championships, with less success. He revealed his diagnosis publically in 2019 but continued to vie for a spot on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic team, until concerns about the pandemic caused him to withdraw from consideration after the Games were delayed.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2008 Summer Olympics Equestrian Jumping (Equestrian) CAN Eric Lamaze
Individual, Open (Olympic) Hickstead 1 Gold
Team, Open (Olympic) Hickstead / Canada 2 Silver
2012 Summer Olympics Equestrian Jumping (Equestrian) CAN Eric Lamaze
Individual, Open (Olympic) Derly Chin de Muze =29
Team, Open (Olympic) Derly Chin de Muze / Canada 5
2016 Summer Olympics Equestrian Jumping (Equestrian) CAN Eric Lamaze
Individual, Open (Olympic) Fine Lady 5 3 Bronze
Team, Open (Olympic) Fine Lady 5 / Canada 4

Special Notes