So the fireworks have faded over Sochi! Everyone is back home and enjoying their victories, planning for 2018 or asking themselves; what now? I have already started to feel some withdrawals from a lack of events to watch. I have been having so much fun these last weeks checking in on ‘my’ competitors and their events. Speaking of my people, I have to give a final congratulations to Jamie Gruebel (bobsled), Seven Langton (2/4 man bobsled), Nick Goepper (slopestyle skiing), Erin Hamlin (luge), Devon Logan (slopestyle skiing), and Nastia Liukin for her great commentaries. Go team!
One observation that sort of came to me these last few days with not only the events but the interviews about the ‘actions’ sports that are being developed; dressage is an ancient sport. It came from a time when life was hard. It came directly out of a need to excel in war when riding on a horse. War is chaotic and violent. Dressage and the training of dressage horses, I would argue,was designed to take the chaos and violence and control it. How many times have you heard from none riders that it looks like we sit up there and aren’t doing anything? The idea was to transfer calm and assurance to your horse and to your men, to look in complete control to those under your command. So our image of harmony and beauty comes from the idea of restraining power, action and fear. Today’s popular and growing brands of ‘extreme sports’ do the opposite. They take sports that many people do; like snowboarding, skateboarding or skiing and then add power, action and fear. They want to make more drama out of their sport, not less.
So in this time of craving for action our sport is about containing emotions, containing the power and fear into a more sublime form of controlled and disciplined beauty. Can we attract mainstream crowds with this? Can people watch a 6-8 minute ride and see power and strength?
On that unusually deep thought, I turn to what may be next on the sporting horizon after the haze of everything ‘Olympic’ settles. Then what will occupy us next? The World Equestrian Games of course! Normandy, France in the fall! I might get to go assist an amazing journalist, we all know and love to do some commentating. That would be a dream come true for me. I hope it works out and I definitely will keep you all updated. Wow the daily blogs from that would be intense!
Well thanks for sharing the Olympic weeks with me and let’s get moving on our declarations which are all due next month! NAJYRC and Brentina by the 15th and High Performance by the 31st! It is upon us. Time to make those decisions!