World of Showjumping
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Kay Neatham: My new Olympic experience!

Saturday, 20 August 2016
The Olympic Games Rio 2016

Kay Neatham tested her reporting skills in Rio. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. Kay Neatham tested her reporting skills in Rio. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Texting with Jenny on Tuesday, I gathered pretty quickly that she had super lot to do for the website and quickly crossed off the fact that we wouldn't be finding time to drink wine at the Olympics – so finished up texting by saying 'anything you need help with just let me know!' As all good friends would.

The reply was 'I really need quotes'. I quickly started regretting not being more specific in my offer to help, as to me quotes means asking riders, trainers etc questions. Before panicking I wrote to Jenny asking for clarification of exactly what she wanted, hoping I was wrong... But no, quotes meant what I thought it did.

Without further a do, I thought well shit happens and you can't take your offer back now, you know everyone so damn well just get on with it.

Went off up the hill to our stables, took Cornado out for grass, ran through my approach for the challenge, needed to say ‘it's for WoSJ’ not just randomly talk to people and call it a quote – don't want anyone angry, smile, pay them a compliment and get on with it... So weird right, that this was making me nervous!!!

Jenny had written something about ‘you can just use your phone to record the quotes...’ No idea what that means or how to do it, so pen and paper in hand. Day was coming to an end and I was thinking, lucky me everyone's gone anyway, so maybe I won't find a person to ask...

Got to the food tent, saw Doda and all his team mates, thought oh well smile, get on with it... Congratulated Doda on his great clear round, we hugged (at this point I nearly moved on, but Jenny's my friend) and then said do you have a minute...and asked him about riding an Olympics in his home country. Wrote everything down, well words that were important and thanked him. Hurried into the food tent and wrote down everything he said, triumphantly sent Jenny a text 'that I spoke to Doda and unfortunately everyone else seemed to have left the facility!' Also that I had to write it down etc... She wrote back 'No problem, I meant for tomorrow, but I could give her what I had anyway please'

Met Jenny in the press office, where a game of hockey was going on and Sweden were playing. A lot of people seemed very into the game, except for one poor lady who stormed down the tent and told everyone by the TV to be quiet – nobody (or maybe just her) could concentrate! Must be the Olympics makes people serious! Jenny then quietly showed me how to record people on my phone... Damn professional now, as long as I can still remember how to work it tomorrow!!

Next day again heading to the food tent to watch, kept seeing people and chickening out on asking them anything... Until Stevie came in the tent, he didn't look too busy so I thought well best thing to do is make a fool of yourself in front of a friend!!

I got up went over and asked Stevie if he could spare me 5 mins and help me out... He was amazing! We sat down I got my phone working... Asked his impression of the course so far.. And we were away, great stuff... When we were finished I then just had to make sure I'd saved the recording.... Spelt Stevie wrong I was so nervous and pressed send to Jenny, perfect!!!!

Spoke to a few more people...Heiner was hilarious and muddled up bronze with gold, we as a team had all been so focused on aiming high that it just slipped out when he was talking about being so happy with the gold medal... Shit I mean bronze... Brilliant moment!

Henrik when I asked if he could say something for WoSJ looked a me and said what should I say... My reply ‘hang on I just need to get my phone working’... Arrhh right got it...and then I asked a question and we were away.

Thierry when I asked how it felt to win gold, was amazing – I felt like he was sending all his and the team’s joy down the phone... Words nearly can't capture that moment... Hugged him too!

At this point I felt as if I had done enough, mission completed and everyone I spoke to was so professional and I had a bundle of fun doing something new. Thanks Jenny – anything for a friend!!!



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