Darryl Thickitt’s Olympic diary 2

  • Darryl is a member of the World Class Development Programme for riders with Olympic potential. He is one of a group of 2012 hopefuls who have travelled out to China as part of Britain’s Olympic Ambition 2012 programme.

    It’s great to be out here experiencing a taste for the Olympics. I am travelling with Sarah Mills and Charlotte Du-Jardin, with our fantastic team leader Jane Bartle.

    On Wednesday night we watched the dressage competition. There was such a great atmosphere at the event and Emma Hindle did fantastic. She had a brilliant score of 71%. Our group sat in the Team GB stand and cheered them on, while waving our GB banners. It was so much fun! The German rider Heike Kemmer had an amazing result and she was the leader that evening.

    Yesterday morning we were up really early to travel to the holding camp at Macau. We had breakfast and a chat with some of the Olympic team coaches and potential London 2012 athletes like us. It was quite cool, because we got to see Paula Radcliffe, but she was busy, so we didn’t get to speak to her.

    After that we took a flight to Beijing where we were transferred directly to the Olympic Village. It was so amazing! It was big and impressive. We were given a tour around the facility and there were athletes everywhere, and such a buzz of activity and anticipation. We got to see the official centre, medical facility and international food hall. They even have a McDonalds! Ahhh… it will be nice not to eat rice for one day!

    We then went to our accommodation where we are staying in a six-bedroom apartment with other athletes on the London 2012 programme. We are sharing with a couple of swimmers, so it will be nice to get the inside perspective of their sport and what pressures they have to face. We are trying to learn as much as we can about the Olympic experience while we are here.

    So far today we have had a leisurely day, and I hate to say it… I’ve been shopping again. There is a fantastic market nearby called the Pearl Market. It has beautiful cashmere and Ralph Lauren. It has also been so hot and sticky. It is about 35 degrees and boiling! We are about to head off to watch the men’s singles tennis and then tomorrow the synchronized trampolining. That should be interesting!

    Bye for now,


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