Sophie Wells’ London 2012 Paralympic Blog
“So being the first day, I just took Noki for a little stretch in walk and trot, to get him used to the arenas and surface, as it did have a slightly funny feeling about it in a couple of areas. We had a press conference over the weekend, where the press was invited to ask questions with us all sat there which was quite good. I really think we had a great team this year, a good mix of experience and youth, Tash and I were always referred to as debutantes, and the other 3 as veterans! We all get on really well, support each other and socialised together especially the girls sharing a flat with Helen Mathie our physio, and Lucy Bell, who is a physio and carer for this trip, but also is Chef d’Equipe for the Vaulting teams, so is very experienced with major competitions too.
We had our allocated training times each day, and Sunday was the first day that anyone was allowed a slot in the ‘field of play’! Because we were only allocated half an hour, I decided to ride Noki in the morning in another arena then walk with him stretched out in the afternoon in the main arena. It’s worked well in the past as he gets a good couple of sessions out of the stable instead of hand walking all the time, and it gets him relaxed in the arena. We had a similar routine on the next day except I picked him up to give him a trot around and in the arena. Outside the riding, I had a small drama in that my phone stopped working, ok but it is a vital time to keep communication and the phones we were allocated for the games were £10 from Tesco and had buttons which we had to learn to use all over again!!…Not brilliant so I felt pretty stranded without any communication! Turned out that my phone had completely died, so a trip to Westfield that evening to get it sorted, even though it was bank holiday they were still open until 10pm, which was amazing!! I did a deal with Apple so that I could get a replacement then and there and could carry on as normal!”