Julia Hargreaves: Sep/12

Day 2 j7I'm only just starting to piece myself back together after the most emotional 4 months of my life! What a ride... First and most importantly I would like to take this opportunity to thank my on going incredible support team, my wonderful family, in particular mum and dad, my ever loyal owners- The Harveys, the boyfriend- Denis, Anna the super groom and of course my wonderful partner in crime, Vedor. And of course my sponsors, Nature Vet and CopRice for keeping my ponies well fuelled and looking well, and Kingsland for keeping me trendy!
It's great to be back in Australia, and surrounded by Aussies, Australia really is the best place on earth! Every time I come home, I find it harder to leave.

So the games... I can't really put into words the emotions I felt throughout this experience, however I can safely say that they were all the most extreme emotions I have ever felt. From throwing up the morning of the first day and getting a total of perhaps, 3 hours sleep over a 5 day period, to the overwhelming feeling of happiness after I jumped a clear round. I remember also saying to my dad, more than once, in the final 3 weeks before we moved into London that I was NEVER going to do this again... needless to say we have already made a plan for Rio... naturally(:

I'm not going to bore you with the details of the competition itself, as it's already printed in every magazine, and on the internet. The jumps were big. I was scared. My horse was awesome.

The village was fun. I was the only Australian Equestrian to stay on after competition, which forced me into making friends... which is easy when you're an Aussie, everyone wants to be friends with an Aussie! I also managed to go and watch a few events. I discovered very quickly that our venue (Greenwich Park) was by far the best. The Aquatic Centre was pretty disappointing. Very drab. Saying that, I went there to watch the synchronise swimming, and I was seriously impressed! The only reason I went was because I met Steve Waugh at the laundry and he invited me... I was star struck, so I went. We got to go back stage and see how they prepare... I was amazed at how together they all seemed... as I couldn't even talk the morning of my competitions. I was blown away with the detail put into their appearances. I'm sure that low level synchro would be pretty boring, but seeing it at the top level was amazing.

I was also lucky enough to witness a world record being made when the Jamaican team won the 4X100 mens relay. That was awesome. And the crowd was incredible! But the highlight (apart from competing) has to be the opening ceremony. That feeling I will never forget. The roar of the crowd when we entered the stadium, not only was it deafening, you could feel it. In the closing I missed a lot of it, as I'm a midget compared to the other athletes, but luckily being with the Australian Team, as soon as one of the giants saw you struggling to see some of the show, they'd just throw you up on their shoulders!

I spent a lot of time in the food hall, just people watching. I could sit in there for hours. Athletes are amazing creatures. They really do seem like creatures to me, another breed! The way they walk around. I kind of see them like Avatars. Not all of them. But you can really pick them out. You can always pick the showjumpers. mainly cause majority of them are old, and walk half crippled. Skelton always seemed to stand out amongst the basketballers.

So back home now for recovery. Have been teaching a little bit. It's been great to be teaching Georgie again, I have really missed her! So the plan for the rest of the year... Heading back to Germany in October, Georgie wont be far behind me. Together we will do a run of shows in November, then she will head back to sunny Australia, and I will continue to freeze my arse off till mid December which is when I will come home again for a couple months(: Already looking forward to it! As for next year, Georgie and I will concentrate on the Global Champions Tour. Should be a fun year!

Well that's all for now! Leaving tomorrow for Werribee for the Australian Showjumping Championships, hope to see some of you there!

Julia