The German dressage riders have already arrived in Rio some days ago. Tomorrow they will have the first “test” with the Vet check after the cross country of the eventers. And even though they have been here some days the dressage riders have not seen much of Rio yet. However, they have experienced a lot.
Dorothee Schneider, for example, explained that sometimes there was no water in the Olympic Village. “Once I was covered in bubbles and had to think what to do now. But fortunately everything worked again after a short time span and then I got rid of the shampoo in my hair.” At least everything was tidy, until now – but that was a self-made problem. The German dressage riders live on the highest floor and they had left the door to the roof terrace open. Then it began to storm and all the dirt flew into the apartment. Kristina Bröring-Sprehe said: “Then we tried to get hold of a broom but we weren’t lucky. Now we’ll take one from the riding centre.”
All of them share the experience from the opening ceremony in the Maracana arena. “Unfortunately we didn’t see much of the celebration since we had to wait in the corridors for such a long time,” Tina Bröring-Sprehe said. “But when the hockey players started singing the hymn in the catacombs it sent shivers down my spine.” The outfits the Germans had to wear to the opening ceremony (photograph) made everyone shake their heads. Reserve rider Hubertus Schmidt said: “They’re a catastrophe! First I thought It only looked bad due to my age but then I saw my younger colleagues and I knew that my age wasn’t the reason. ” Tina Bröring-Sprehe said: “Under those rain jackets you start sweating a lot.” The youngest rider of the quintet, Sönke Rothenberger, also asked himself: “Who invented that? Supposedly they were athletes. If you had a look at how the others looked for this occasion they had the better deal. Apparently we were supposed to look sporty and modern.
Well at least all of us looked that way.” The 21-year-old also has some criticism for the everyday outfits: “It looks o.k. but there is too much orange. Sometimes we get confused with the Dutch.”
The youngster was able to take a deep breath the first time when the horses had landed. “All of them didn’t fly before and I didn’t know how Cosmo would deal with it. Fortunately Isabell was with them and she did great.” Cosmo, that became clear, is the number one in the Hesse’s stable: “Perhaps I’ll never get such a horse again – they are not that common. When I rode him for the first time it was like starting a roller coaster ride. And now I get to experience that every day.”
Rothenberger was especially impressed by the team spirit in Monica Theodorescu’s team. It was totally different from the European Championship for young riders. Fifth man, Hubertus Schmidt, who has the unpopular status of reserve rider, also confirmed this: “In the beginning I wasn’t really happy with this role, especially because Imperio performs so well. In every other team an average of 75,76% would mean to be active rider. However, I have accepted it and since then I’m happy. I still enjoy the Olympics and feel I’m part of the team.”
Isabell Werth sometimes forgets that “Schmidti” doesn’t compete. “He’s a poster reserve rider. He is so much part of the team that I didn’t realise that he won’t compete. Its extremely important for the mood of the team and it is nice that we don’t have to bribe someone -what already has happened- to let the reserve rider pass with us.
And Werth added: “We already had a lot of fun this week.” The five riders really project this impressions, this is the best prerequisite for their common goal: gold!