Cheers to a Sussex Olympian!
Just back on the planet after watching Findon girl Kristina Cook help the British three-day event team to its Olympic silver medal. What a fantastic performance. Sad that Tina didn't win an individual medal too, despite being in contention until the bitter end, but that's how it goes. Greenwich Park looked glorious and the cross-country course worked well; it was tricky and twisty but the Brits rode superbly. It was also cleverly designed to showcase magnificent views of London and I'm sure some of the iconic images of London 2012 will come from the equestrian events.
Sure, I queued with the other 54,999 people to get into Greenwich station at the end of the day, but it wasn't bad and the trains to and from Sussex worked very well. In fact, if you're based in one of our lovely Sussex holiday cottages this might be a good time for a day trip to the capital now that the athletic events have also started - I gather all the warnings about staying away have worked so well that you can get a seat on the Tube in rush hour!
Just over the Sussex county border in Dorking, the cycling road races on the opening weekend also made brilliant viewing. Instead of joining the Box Hill bunfight we watched the riders hurtle along the A24 then made our way to the big screen at Denbies Vineyard. Watching cycling is funny really - all that effort for a few seconds' viewing - but the atmosphere is always electric, even when the squad aren't fresh from a magnificent Tour de France win. Seeing the Olympic rings on the side of Box Hill, and all the flags lining the road showed that part of the Surrey hills as never before. Again the trains up from West Sussex worked well; full marks to the cheerful, efficient station staff at Horsham and Dorking.
Other Sussex Olympians include swimmer Gemma Spofforth, sailor Saskia Clark, hockey player Ashleigh Ball and Paralympians Will Bayley, Ben Quilter and Simon Munn. We've welcomed the Grenada athletes to Sussex as their training base and with the county's good sports facilities to use I hope the Olympic legacy makes its mark.
Copyright photo - Lis Clegg