Saturday, 28 July 2012

Day Thirteen - the Business end of Proceedings

The pageantry of the opening ceremony is over, time to get down to the business end and what we’re all really here for... can we now please become a firework free zone until the 12 August (closing ceremony)?!  I must admit that I was asleep for the 2nd half of the ceremony.....dreaming of medals...maybe...

The First Horse Inspection has been completed.....ok, so the pulse rate jumped up the scale at one point. The Horse Inspection is to ensure all horses are fit to compete.

Let’s hope the Eventers managed to get some sleep while Team GB’s Equestrian division was represented by our Jumping and Dressage contingent of Scott Brash, Peter Charles, Ben Maher and Richard Davison. Watching at home on the box I didn’t spot them but with 540 athletes making up Team GB and a camera man with a Tom Daley obsession it’s not so surprising. 

The Jumpers had a fantastic time and I think the atmosphere and certainly the welcome they received as they walked from the Village to the Venue, will have helped prepare them for the Competition and given them a taste of what is to come.  There is no doubt in my mind that to succeed at the Olympics an athlete needs to soak up the atmosphere but then move through the wow factor and settle in to a performance focused bubble.  

Tomorrow is Eventing Dressage day and Nicola Wilson and Mary King will trot down the centre line for Team GB (at 11.20 and 14.30).  Before the first Olympic horse competes, it will be a very big day for World Class Development rider Emily Llewellyn who has been invited to be the test rider for this phase of the competition. This is a big honour and a great experience for a young rider looking ahead at the road to Rio. She is a super talented rider and it’s great to see our up and coming riders being invited to learn from the biggest occasion of them all.

Also opening tomorrow will be the International Teams' Tent...often known as Rosemary's Tent (after Rosemary Barlow, who has run theses facilities at many Olympics, Worlds and Europeans).  To be is not a tent!  During the planning phase, this facility has moved around the Park more than the squirrels.   

the ITT 'tent'

ITT tent

Squirrels in the park
As an aside.......the squirrels in this Park are too tame...that is home they would know their place.  We have daily "orders" that are produced and circulated by Sophie Thomas:  These give everyone a breakdown of what is happening the next day, as well as keeping us up to speed with what is happening across the wider Team GB.  Included is a " quote of the day" and our daily lessons on Cockney rhyming slang.  Maybe we need an "oi, Mr & Mrs Nutkin......KNOW your place...."

Back to the ITT..... This is designed to be a facility For the "team" that surround the athletes...owners, family, close friends; it is a place to meet up and relax.  The National Maritime Museum have kindly provided the home for the it falls outside the cartilage of the Venue but can be accessed from the Venue...kinda contradictory statement but believe me!

As competition is about to start so there will be a peak in pressure / stress (for me) as we pass through the inevitable teething problems of Day 1 of competition.......and then it really is over to the stars...the athletes and the horses.  It is going to be close competition, nail biting moments and sport at its very very best.


  1. Ben Maher was (very briefly!) on screen before they went back to Tom Daley

  2. The arena just looked amazing and so atmospheric. Loved the aerial camera zooming around bits during one of the breaks.. and why oh why can't the beeb show the tests as catchups. But hey again many thanks for writing this as the pressure must be somewhere near boiling point.