IT has been 129 days since Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson helped Team GB to an Olympic eventing silver.
Yet even now the celebrations continue.
Why not, indeed? The equestrian star has lived life to the full during a memorable year in which the White Rose of Yorkshire has been etched on both rider and horse’s heart.
Wilson, 36, still has this summer’s London 2012 Games fresh in her memory with the Northallerton-based rider and Opposition Buzz having helped Team GB to a super silver.
Wilson, Zara Phillips, William Fox-Pitt, Mary King and Kristina Cook were only edged out by a strong German contingent – coached by Harrogate-based Chris Bartle – yet there has been no moaning about settling for second.
Wilson’s commitment to the Yorkshire cause in London – the rider was initially named as a reserve – was underlined when she had a Yorkshire rose stencilled into Opposition Buzz’s coat during the big event.
A triumph for Team GB has been a triumph for Yorkshire with Wilson having revelled in the celebrations since, including showing her medal around various Yorkshire schools.
As 2012 prepares to draw to a close, those celebrations are slowly subsiding but, for Wilson, both this summer’s Games and the six months that followed are memories that will never be lost.
“This has just been the most memorable year and even since the Olympics we have had some lovely invitations,” Wilson told the Yorkshire Post.
“We’ve been to Buckingham Palace and been invited to lots of lovely places like Windsor Castle. It’s just been fantastic.
“I’ve also met so many of the other Olympians and Paralympians which has been really nice and the Olympic season has really carried on – coming to a close the other Friday when we had the Olympians Ball down in London.
“That was just a way of saying thank you to everybody that has supported Team GB.
“We have also been to quite a few local schools to share a few Olympic experiences and show the medal and it’s been lovely to see the reaction on the children’s faces when they see the medal.
“I have enjoyed this year to remember and I just feel so lucky, honoured and privileged to have been part of London 2012. It just made you so proud to be British.”
Wilson was born in Darlington and schooled at Teesside High, Darlington Sixth Form College and Manchester University but her home is in Yorkshire and so, too, is her heart.
The quest now continues to achieve further glories – for Team GB and Yorkshire – in 2013 and beyond.
There may have been plenty of parties since this summer’s Olympics but for Wilson – a gold medallist at the 2009 European Eventing Championships and 2010 World Equestrian Games – the aftermath of London 2012 has been a case of work mixed with play.
“In the past it has all been work,” said Wilson, who nominated Annie Clover, Beltane Queen and Ngong Hills as three big hopes for the future.
“But after realising my childhood dream, I think it is important to enjoy celebrating with everyone that helped make it possible this summer because it may never happen again, you just don’t know.
“At the same time, we are also very much looking to the future and for the horses that will, hopefully, be a part of things with a view to the next few years.
“We are driving forwards now and looking towards Rio in four years’ time.
“That is our aim and, hopefully, producing the next Opposition Buzz – a horse that has fulfilled so many of my dreams in being a regular member on the British team.
“I was determined to do my level best which I think is what I did.”
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Weather for Yorkshire
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west