C’est la vie – Normandie… Too much light, too much of nothing, too much chaos

The World Equestrian Games have begun – but the gaps in terms of organization are still huge. Obviously they do not only concern the people from the media but the riders as well. Klaus Roeser, Chef d’Equipe of the German dressage riders, already reported early in the morning about the “great chaos”. “ This morning during the training the music was far too loud. We had to convince the responsible authorities that they had to turn down the sound.” But this was not everything which went wrong.“Suddenly the spotlights of the cameras turned on. This was not the case during the tests the days before. This can cause serious problems when the horses come in. That is really unnecessary. Fortunately enough, we managed to turn them off.” And yet he also showed comprehension for the hosts: “This may happen at an event like this. But my job here is to support the riders. That’s why time and again I also have to make an angry face.“

Looking angry that was also something which we did when at eight o’clock right after Fabienne Lütkemeier’s performance we were consequently politely led to the mixed zone to a slot in the stadium concrete where Fabienne didn’t show up for a long time. The rider was supposed to give flash interviews for different TV stations first. And from our location we were not able to see anything apart from concrete and advertising. We hadn’t been waiting in a forbidden zone beforehand but rather along the corridor leading from the press stand to the mixed zone. But there was a strict order. No one should dare to still rail against the Germans‘ organisational skills…

What is not organized that strictly, in contrast, are shuttle busses. It seems that the latter do everything but stick to the stipulated times. Fortunately enough, the one scheduled for 6.45am arrived in time this morning ( and yet for the beginning of the dressage tests at 8.00am a bus at 7.30am would have been sufficient. But the shuttle busses for the media only travel hourly.) We really started off at time . Our bus driver, however, obviously was a little too generous. In any case he did an extra loop across Orne which meant that we passed by our starting point once again. On his way to the stadium D’Ornano he repeatedly used the blinker lamp only to decide to turn right into the opposite direction short time later. Unfortunately enough, we couldn’t show him where to go because no one understands English here (and none of the early birds in the bus was able to speak French).

Whereas we arrived at the press office at 7.00am, the majority of the people in charge were still sleeping. Coffee and fruits were only provided starting at 9.30am. Luckily enough, there was a kiosk in the stadium where you could obtain a small cup for 3 €. But who is not willing to make sacrifices for a little caffeine in the morning… But for the numerous attendants to arrive the gastronomic provision will certainly remain exciting because to be honest here at the stadium there is actually nothing! They intend to promote the gastronomy in the immediate vicinity. But just simply passing by a restaurant or something else doesn’t work. And the Village including the big exposition is a 20 minutes’ walk away: uphill or downhill. But people may try with the shuttle (in this context you should know that the stops of the busses require an unnecessary long walk as well).

But we don’t want to be too pessimistic. At this point I want to fall back on Klaus Roeser’s quote: “Somehow things will work out“. And I also want to mention Susanne Hennig, head of the German press, who remains positive, too:“ One thing really works out fantastic here: the internet!” That’s right and worth something anyway.