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?

Categories: Horses, Olympics, Riding, Writing

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1 reply »

  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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