'Inspire a generation? I hope so': a YouGov panellist writes!

August 01, 2012, 8:48 AM GMT+0

The Olympics is now five days young; the heat well and truly on. We've been inviting YouGov panellists to articulate their take on the Olympics - what it means to them, and why - to get a flavour of some of our panellists' views from up and down the UK

Alison J, an avid horse-rider and panellist from Derbyshire, and a YouGov panellist of 5 years' standing, writes here of her assessment of yesterday's equestrian eventing - and how she hopes it will set a bar for aspiring young riders.

In her post, Alison gives her praise to Team GB's professional and supportive attitude to fellow competitors

**Please note, these are Alison's personal views, and do not necessarily reflect the views of YouGov.

"Yesterday I watched the team and individual eventing in the equestrian competition.

"For the non-horsey, this is an equestrian competition where a rider and their horse must complete in three events. A dressage test (aka 'stressage' to those who take part), which is the dancing around, not jumping bit; harder than it looks. A cross-country round, which is the galloping over solid obstacles bit; as terrifying as it looks.

"Then finally, show jumping, which is the trying not to knock coloured poles down bit; as nerve-wracking as it looks.

"As a keen horse-rider I am perhaps biased, but if the aim of the 2012 Olympics is to inspire a generation, then the eventers from all countries did themselves proud at yesterday's team and individual eventing.

"All had their crash hats securely strapped to their heads: all too often professional riders opt to wear their hats loosely-fastened and take them off before leaving the arena, as if to indicate they are wearing them because they have to, and not because it is an essential bit of kit. It is an up-hill struggle to get youngsters to wear their hats securely-fastened, and to have a clear demonstration of commitment to safety on such a public stage was fantastic.

"Some of the riders, Team GB included, had painfully disappointing rounds. Despite this they smiled, patted their horses, and waved to the crowds. They also congratulated other riders who had faired better.

"Some of the riders had amazing results, stuff that dreams are made of. However, they too recognised the contribution of their horses with pats and cuddles, acknowledged the support of the crowds with waves, and took the time to commiserate with fellow competitors who were less successful.

"What a fantastic display of professionalism and sportsmanship.

"Inspire a generation? I hope so."

Been struck by the efforts of show of sportsmanship in one event above the others?

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