Olympic Legacy

Today the flame goes out. About time, I say. Between the Olympics & the Tour de France, I’ve worn out the springs in my recliner. Less watch, more do.

So what did we learn?
2012 – Those of us who yip about helmets have a new hero, Charlotte Dujardin. For folks who did not spend the previous week glued to NBC’s live stream, this rider won the individual gold medal in dressage wearing a safety helmet rather than a top hat. This has torpedoed any argument that judges do not approve and that riders will be scored down for wearing helmets. Unfortunately, Dujardin got religion the hard way, after a fall (Telegraph article). With luck, her example will encourage others to make the switch before visiting the inside of an ambulance. Every ride. Every time.

1996 – When I was volunteering in Conyers, I had friends who were Lord High Everything Else among volunteers/officials and others who were over in the press tent being important. I could envision either of these routes for my future. Unfortunately, given where I lived, both would have involved major traveling. To fence judge or to cover shows, I would have needed to go away for weekends. leaving behind my own horses and my riding career. I decided that I would rather fail as a rider than succeed as a volunteer or as a journalist. In the intervening 16 years, I have strikingly failed to dazzle the competitive equine world. But I still do not regret the choice. I would have always wondered. Of course, succeeding as a rider would be the best route.

What did you take away from this or any other Games?

One thought on “Olympic Legacy

  1. That the cost of excellence is very high. That you must want to compete more that anything else. And that, usually, you do not have a life outside of the sport.

    However, if the Olympics can satisfy the Territorial Imperative which leads to war, perhaps it is a fair trade-off. In both cases, the individual gives all or some of his/her life for the good of the group and gets recognition in return. But with the Games, the casualties are not fatal.

    Both events are unifying against an “other”. Not a perfect world but perhaps the best we can do.

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