The Opening Ceremony is always a great way to kick off the Olympics. I have attended every opening Ceremony at all four Olympics I have been to and London was certainly a highlight. We began by gathering outside our Australian House in the village, distinctive for the three life size Emus out front. This was already a chance to meet other Athletes from different sports. As the only show jumping rider marching was Julia Hargraves, we tagged her into our team and when I was asked to march in the front row as it was my fourth Olympics, I was joined close by, by the rest of the Equestrian team. Being a pushy lot by the end we had pretty well all equestrian in the front row! It was great feeling to march into the main arena and made me very proud to be in the Aussie team. The main fun for us was meeting other athletes , as we didn’t get to see much of the ceremony itself.
We had two opportunities to familiarize our horses with the main arena, and Sancette felt great both times. When the big day arrived I felt surprisingly calm, although I always do have that little moment when I think to myself “What the hell am I doing here and why am I not at home knitting booties for my Grand Daughter??” Well firstly I can’t knit and secondly as Princess Nathalie reminded me I was here to represent my country! Thanks Nathalie for the reality check!
I would also like to thank in particular my groom and friend Carol Newby who took care of my horses, and made it all possible. She did a brilliant job and I am extremely grateful to her. Currently she is in quarantine with Sancette and that is a great relief , as it was after Athens Olympics in quarantine that I lost my beloved friend Limbo, who had to travel without his regular groom Simone. At least I know he is in safe hands with Carol, and I just pray he makes it home safe and sound.