Thursday, 19 July 2012

Day Four – One of those days

We all plan our days......don’t we?  For me it is a Team effort; I lie in the bath, Malt whisky to hand, rubber ducks riding the waves and plan the next 24 hours.  An aside; I do not do  Birthdays, or for that matter, Christmas – they just seem an excuse for a day off from work and money wasted on expensive baubles.  However, I did have my beliefs slightly shot away recently when I received a Team GB rubber duck...a collectors’ item  - although he (or is it a she) has slightly upset the pecking order within the formerly referred to parade of the bath based duck flotilla.
So back to the planning.  Today was about three things; 1) Moving Rooms...all pre ordained and for good reason  -2) Catching up on those b*^&&%£$y emails and 3) Visiting the various hotels that we have reserved for owners / staff / international Teams’ Tent (ITT) volunteers.  I will come back to the ITT.
40 minutes were allocated by the Ducks to 2).  How difficult could it be?  All my clothes were hanging on a portable clothes rail (see Day 1) – so all I had to do was wheel it out of the current room into the new room....which was on a different floor...not a problem, this hotel has a lift! Cool!  Of course I forgot; portable means I exited the lift, the wheels became embedded in that annoying space between lift and floor..clothes rail became a chaotic series of unconnected aluminium tubes and a lost my battle with vertical posture and collapsed amongst aforementioned clothes and aluminium tubes.  At this point a senior member of the International Club for Damn Attractive Ladies walked round the corner, took one look at me and announced (through the look on her face)....“wow, who let him out of the asylum”.  We have been looking at the advantages and disadvantage of competing at home since will be interesting to see if our crystal gazing and planning pays off.
There is so much admin that goes on behind the scenes.  Sometimes I wonder if we take on too much.  In comparison to other sports or Nations’ equestrian teams we have secured more tickets and more hotel rooms than anyone a golden mile.  But it seems we can never satisfy all.  I wish we could do more but the Games are like no other environment.  I started planning 30 minutes after London won the Games...I spoke to the Director of Sales for Accor to try to get rooms that very same day (as the announcement) – he was very polite, slightly amused but explained (with a very French accent) that I was right at the bottom of the totem pole.  Looking back, in a way, Hong Kong (Beijing 2008 Olympic & Paralympic Games) was much easier – there was no choice; everybody needed a flight, everybody needed transport from the airport and everyone needed a room in one of the two hotels (on being the Village) that we were using.  There is far far too much choice with London!!   

So the emails;  this was very much admin, tying up all the various arrivals, accommodation plots etc etc.  Oh yes...and just to add to the “To Do List”..all my Paralympic ParalympicsGB clothing turned up today; I am now a registered and recognised Adidas clothing Store.

We are in the “Games Period” now – this means that all athletes are considered in competition and through the BOA have to record their Whereabouts (where they are sleeping / competing / training) – this is for anti doping measures and the Testers will be on the road knocking on athletes’ doors.  All of Team GB that have accreditation are now officially “under command” of the BOA.  This “Games Period” continues through to 15th August, regardless of whether athletes have finished competing and have left London.
I met up with Tim Hadaway and Alec Lochore yesterday to discuss various aspects of the Games.  Tim is the Big Boss of Equestrian in London and Alec runs the Eventing side.  The team have done a fantastic job, coping with a number of challenges linked to bringing equestrian to a Royal Park in the middle of London.  However, I sense an air of excitement as the big day approaches.....we get access to the Venue this Sunday.

I am off to Hickstead first thing tomorrow.  The Nations Cup (team competition) is on Friday although none of our Olympic horses will be jumping in the Nations Cup.  Hickstead have done fantastic work to the main arena....I am sure this is paying dividends taking in to account recent weather....... 

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