The three-day Equestrian competition gave riders and horses a taste of what to expect at the Games in 2012
I was so excited to actually see our teams putting all their carefully-laid plans into action. I know from talking to everyone they are delighted to actually be on site helping to deliver competitive sport, and everyone began to get a real feel for what London and some of the venues will be like during the Games next summer.
It is hard for me to choose one highlight from the test events. They were all so different, but each one of them has provided us with vital
information that will help our planning for next year. Saying that, it was a proud moment to see
horses and riders tackling the cross country course in Greenwich Park with
London’s landmarks glistening in the background.
Elsewhere, seeing competitive sport taking place in Olympic Park for the first time – in the Basketball Arena and the newly-laid BMX Track – sent tingles down my spine. And of course, a British win in the BMX test event did really top things off rather nicely!
In fact, the test events have seen some great British success. As well as Shanaze Reade winning the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Piggy French was victorious at the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational and Ben Ainslie won the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta. Fresh from the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish took top spot in the London-Surrey Road Cycling Classic, and the Brownlee brothers were first and third at the ITU World Championship Series – the Olympic Triathlon test event.
The question I often get asked is what are we actually testing at
these events, and what we are learning from them. At all test events we have
been looking at how our teams work together, getting volunteers involved in the
action and testing the sporting field of play.
Of course it hasn’t been plain sailing all the way, but this is exactly what the London Prepares series is for – to identify and iron out any problems prior to Games time. So this testing is crucial to aid our plans and make sure we deliver the best Games possible next year.
So after a chance to quickly catch our breath it is on to the next set of test events. After the Canoe Sprint International Invitational at Eton Dorney next week, it is on to Lords – and not for cricket, but for the Archery test event. A perfect start to the autumn!