Today we were allowed to move to the Main Press Center. It is still not yet completely finished but we can work here. There is enough space, the internet is fast. Ok, all chairs still were wrapped in foil and there is dust everywhere (one wishes to have some foil for one’s notebook) but it is a good work space. Apart from the noise, because there are still people hammering and plastering the walls here. Apparently as yet nobody has thought of toilets but of course we are all fine with walking some steps to one of the outside toilet houses. Besides that many people here are discussing Florence, the looming hurricane. Will it hit us, will it miss us, will we just experience a small part of it? Some are worried, others quite cool. We hope we will be spared from the experience.
The German dressage riders also hope so. After today’s Vet Check they met for a first press briefing. “It is incredible how the construction site develops from one day to another,” so Isabell Werth “I have not ever seen anything like this in my life.” Jessica von Bredow-Werndl said she had thanked her dad that there had been so many construction sites in Aubenhausen over the last years “My horses are not afraid of machines.” Sönke Rothenberger and Dorothee Schneider as well as Isabell Werth confirmed that the horses felt extremely comfortable in Tryon. “As yet everything was unproblematic,” so national coach Monica Theodorescu said. The situation was different during the quarantine, which lasted for 48 hours, explained Isabell Werth, the only rider to fly together with the horses. “It was complicated – American,” so the number one in the world said. “It was extremely warm and exhausting for the horses. But they made it and were still in good shape. We did not gain weight because we sweat so much.”
It is not yet clear how the extremely humid air and the temperatures will affect the performances. While Monica Theodorescu believes that the hot summer in Germany could be advantageous and that the horses will not have many problems Werth believes that it will be strenuous for the horses. But everyone is afraid of heavy rainfall.
Apart from that there are only minor problems. Currently Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Sönke Rothenberger have to go to Walmart regularly in order to organise enough water for their horses, who do not want to drink the water provided at the location. I can understand them since the water smells and tastes like the water from a swimming pool – apparently there are huge amounts of chlorine in the water coming from the taps.
“We are already standing customers of Walmart,” Monica Theodorescu said and laughed. The German riders also experienced the local wines; the FN had organised an evening for all active athletes, at a vineyard. “The wine is strong, you have to be cautious,” so the national coach said.
Sönke Rothenberger, the youngest member in the team is highly motivated. He wants to become World Champion with Cosmo. “Of course I want this. Cosmo is able to beat everyone, that is what he has already shown.,” so the team Olympic winner. At the same time he knows that always something can go wrong. “Therefore you have to keep both feet firmly on the ground.”