By: Susan Stafford-Pooley
The Individual Final was super-exciting, and once again it was a Brazilian, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli aboard the brilliant mare Sirene de La Motte, who snatched the gold medal (which seems to be a running theme at these Games). The silver was won not by the USA or Mexico, which you might expect, but by Argentinian José María Larocca riding Finn Lente, much to the delight of the fans waving the blue-and-white. Beezie Madden of the US snagged the bronze with Breitling LS thank goodness so that North America was represented on the podium.
But it was young Nicole Walker of Canada who really shone through today. She displayed such grace and focus under pressure to narrowly miss the bronze medal and finish fourth – the best result for the Great White North. She had better be chosen to represent our country when the Tokyo Olympics roll around next year, or I will have to write a harshly-worded letter to the selection committee.
Read the full report here.
This Pan Am experience has been a very pleasant one. The venue was superb, the local food was good (and cheap!) the sport was terrific and it is great to see the South and Central Americans really upping their game (maybe even a bit too much for my liking, seeing as they kicked our butts!). The last Pan Ams I attended in South American was in Mar del Plata (Bueno Aires), Argentina, in 1995 and the quality of the riding and horsepower has advanced exponentially since then. The only downside has been the cold weather and the horrific traffic snarls which caused great angst when we were trying to get back to our hotels at night to drink file stories and sort photos. But now I am out of money and wine and clean clothes and eager to get back home. I leave you with a parting shot.
Adiós, Peru. ¡Hasta luego!