Blog #20: Day off

Medal ceremony at the equestrian venue yesterday - team dressage medals
Medal ceremony at the equestrian venue yesterday – team dressage medals

Today is the first day I have had since the competitions started where I do not have to attend the equestrian venue. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love the equestrian venue but am looking forward to getting out of my little bubble.

The days seem to be merging into one. I get up, work, go to breakfast, get on the bus, go through security, set up in the media centre, go watch the competition, back to the media centre, work, get on the bus, get back to the apartment, work (and possibly eat something), work, sleep, get up, work, go to breakfast, get on the bus, go …. you get the idea.

So today it is going to be different. I haven’t decided how different yet, but I’m going to go and take in some other sports, perhaps golf, maybe trampoline, maybe rowing and maybe athletics. Or perhaps I could head up to Christ the Redeemer, or be a tourist. Who knows? But the sleep-in didn’t happen, wide awake at 4:30 again.

Thanks to Di’s great efforts yesterday, I don’t have to go to pick up my hockey tickets. I’m very excited about these, especially as I hear that the NZ women have made it to the semi-final (which I have tickets for) and the men’s team are doing okay too. I’ve got tickets to the men’s gold medal match, so come on boys, meet you there?

Helen Christie on duty as a steward at the Rio Olympics (Image: Jane Thompson)
Helen Christie on duty as a steward at the Rio Olympics (Image: Jane Thompson)

Briefly saw Helen Christie yesterday. She was high up in the stands watching the dressage, I was down at ground level in the mixed zone. “I’ve got teabags for you,” she yells, and throws them down. The other journalists were very puzzled about what this was all about but I was very grateful. I’ve got enough to last me through Brazil and my few days’ stay in Argentina as well. Helen has been working hard as a steward. She had the night duty the other night in the stables. On top of her daytime duties, by the sound of it, so she did a bit marathon on staying awake for a while there.

No I don't have shares in this company, but love the product!
No, I don’t have shares in this company, but love the product!

Food update: I’m down to my last packet of Frooze Balls which I brought over from New Zealand. I wish I had packed more. These little balls of protein goodness are perfect for keeping me going during the day when I just can’t face more bread. I feel for those who are gluten-free here.  Our salad /vegetable dinner last night was heaven and I managed two glasses of wine. I’m hoping to try something different out on my adventures today – I hear there are plenty of juice bars in Rio, I’ve yet to spot one but fancy spending some money there.

Isabell Werth, full of smiles after her great performance yesterday and winning another gold medal
Isabell Werth, full of smiles after her great performance yesterday and winning another gold medal

The dressage yesterday was great. Such beautiful displays. Shame there were not more people in the stands to witness it. The spectator numbers haven’t been great out at the equestrian venue so far, which is a shame. I really love getting to talk to the various riders, and hearing their stories. They are so professional. I also enjoyed the trot-up for the jumpers. There are some seriously impressive horses in the field, and  I am looking forward to seeing them jumping tomorrow.

Up close to Steve Guerdat, seeing his face as he was sent to the hold box at the trot up - moments you can't get on TV
Up close to Steve Guerdat, seeing his face as he was sent to the hold box at the trot-up – moments you can’t get on TV

But in the meantime, I’ve got a day of freedom ahead, I just have to transcribe an interview or two, and do something with all those trot-up photos first…