Blog # 4: Most embarrassing moment ever

As Jane prepares to go to this year's Olympics, she takes a look back at Athens 2004 where the eventing team had a huge laugh at her expense. Let's hope she doesn't let that happen again!

Mark Todd and Matthew Grayling at the 2004 Athens Olympics
Mark Todd and Matthew Grayling at the 2004 Athens Olympics

In my last blog, I talked about my injury from falling off my horse. I’m not going to say much more about it on this blog, except it has severely hindered my horse riding and my getting fitter programme but it won’t stop me getting on that plane. I’ve fallen way behind my goal of doing 10,000 steps per day but I’m sure I will soon be able to put in a good burst. If I was a horse, I wouldn’t have been PTS, retired or withdrawn yet but I may well have had more treatment.

The legend, Ready Teddy
The legend, Ready Teddy

Also in my last blog I talked about the Athens Olympics when I was lucky enough to attend with media accreditation and work with the NZ equestrian team. They were great people to work with, and there were lots of funny moments. I was just looking through some of the daily emails I used to send out (before Facebook!). It brought back lots of memories. One bit that made me laugh was what the team got up to after they had a show jumping practice. Each team was allocated a certain amount of time when they could show jump. As it was really hot in Athens, this was done at night and under lights. The New Zealand team’s time with the jumps finished at 9:30pm and there was another team coming out afterwards – the Americans, if I remember rightly. The horses jumped well, it was very uneventful, and the grooms led the horses back to the stables while the riders partook in a bit of sports psychology. They put all the jumps up really high in order to give the next team out the impression they had been jumping these huge fences! We didn’t stick around to find out what their reaction was, but we did all have a laugh.

Dan Jocelyn and Mark Todd enjoying a laugh

Talking about laughs, the eventing team got a huge laugh at my expense, and this still goes down as my Most Embarrassing Moment Ever. In those days I had a little Nikon camera, best described as the digital version of the Box Brownie. It did really well taking a few low resolution photos worthy of website and email. The eventing team got ready for their official photo and the photographer that had been lined up to take it didn’t appear. I was the only one there with a camera so was asked if I could take a couple anyway, since everyone was assembled and in their uniforms. Sir Mark, who was the eventing coach at Athens, got everyone lined up, I stood out in front of them in my lovely loose skirt (great in that hot weather), and started taking photos, just as the wind started blowing. Yep, guess what happened next?

Here is the resulting photo.

Team funny

On that note, I am signing out for today.


Previous blog links:

Blog # Three

Blog # Two

Blog # One