Uniform day in the village was a great chance to catch up with all the other team members. The showjumpers made a quick dash in from Europe, as did Kristy and Lyndal. Being in the village and trying on all the uniform makes you realize that this is not just another horse show. The Olympics is a very different experience and even though this is my fourth, I still get a real buzz out of all things “Olympic”. Our Officials were really helpful, and the day went pretty smoothly, finished off with our induction Ceremony, and some inspiring lines from our Aussie Team motivator, Laurie Lawrence, the legendary swimming coach.
The Village itself is huge, but the Australian House is conveniently located not too far from the Food Hall and Welcome Centre, and is certainly as good as any of the other Villages I have stayed in. Our house is distinctive with three life-sized emus out front.
Monday night was a big highlight, as we were invited to participate in the “Hamish and Andy’s Olympic Gap Year “comedy show. With us were several other Aussie teams, including Water Polo, Weightlifting, Men’s Hockey, Shooting, and several others. The whole evening was hilarious, and Dressage got a good part of the show. I am not allowed to reveal all the details, but strongly suggest for a good laugh watch it on Thursday night. My daughter Alex, by coincidence, had organized a gig for herself as an extra in the torch relay!
Tomorrow we get down to serious work, with our Team Coaching advisor Ton De Ridder. He will be here for three days to assess our horses, and check that we are all on track, for hopefully the best performance of our lives.
Now the pressure is really on and I am trying to stay calm and focused, and concentrate on all the small details that make for my best performance.
On Friday we move to the Village and attend the Opening Ceremony, and the horses will arrive at the Horse Park, and then the Games are on!
Photos by Lyndal Oatley and Carol Newby