I'm in France for the next three weeks where I will be covering the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. For those of you who are not familiar with this event it is truly the horse world's Olympic Games except that instead of only the three disciplines which take place at the Olympic Games, here there are eight disciplines being tested.
Added to the three Olympic disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing are endurance, driving, reining, vaulting and para-dressage.
I headed to France early in order to get set up and ready to go before the opening ceremonies take place on August 23rd. There's a lot to adjust to any time you cover an event of this magnitude. So, rather than feel a time crunch, arriving a few days early allows you to figure out all those details before having to be hurled into the belly of the storm.
Sometimes things go like clockwork, as did my flight from JFK to Munich, Germany and then on to Paris. Seamless as well was the shuttle service from Paris to Caen, France and the Hotel de France, which will be my home for the next three weeks. This hotel is quaint and perfectly located in the heart of Caen and near the many sports venues.
Among the many things that have to be figured out are the internet access, which so far has been great in the hotel, and the shuttles. Well, now that wasn't quite as seamless. Matter-of-fact so far that has been the most difficult part of this trip simply because no one could answer the simple question of where to get the shuttle. However, since many of the staff and volunteers are also just arriving they too are in that learning curve stage.
Arriving early also means getting over jet lag, which was done by getting 12 hours of sleep in a row but not on purpose, more because of not knowing what time it actually was. In fact, unlike in the U.S. the hotel rooms in France do not have clocks and resetting clocks on computers and phones also can take some time to figure out, but now even that has been achieved.
On day two jet lag meant not being able to sleep but also an opportunity to post the first of a series of stories about these upcoming Games. And for now I will close this first column as it's time to start to work through a few more details, which include going to the main press center and getting a locker, setting up the internet there and getting a photo pinny.
Today will also be about changing dollars to euros, locating the train that will take me and my roommate Darlene Ricker up to meet the endurance riders on August 24th and also working out a game plan for attempting to cover eight disciplines, some of which are happening at the same time.
I'm happy to hear from the Examiner readers. So, if you have questions or comments feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This event, like the Olympics, only takes place every four years. Allons-y!