Michele George: Living from party to party

It is awards season and Belgium’s equestrian star Michel George gives an insight into her busy life post London 2012 12 Dec 2012
A picture of a woman showing her trophy

Michèle George showing her trophy after becoming the first Paralympic athlete to win the Equestrala.

ⒸNPC Belgium

"I was very happy about winning the Performance of the Year. Knowing this was chosen by equestrians means a lot to me."

Let’s start with the event on Thursday 6 December.

I was invited to the evening of the “Merite Sportif Wallon” at Louvain La Neuve. It is a live TV- show where sportspersons receive awards in different categories based on their performances during the last year. I had the honour of being nominated in the category “Paralympic Athlete of the year”, which in my eyes was very exciting.

After 2 hours on the road to get there (the traffic in Brussels can sometimes get really messed up) I finally arrived at the right place. Luckily I had a nice group of people in the car with me consisting of my husband Bernard who’s the best navigator ever and my chef d’équipe and roommate in London, Wendy Laeremans, who became my soul mate after the games.

After getting our tickets, which was an event on itself because my name wasn’t mentioned on the guest list, we got our seat numbers and the nice adventure of finding our seats began.

Finally a nice lady saw on our faces that we surely weren’t looking to find the toilets so, clever as she was, she made a gentle move to show us the right seats.

After the audience got perfectly warmed up by the – in the eyes of us ladies – good-looking stage-manager the live show began which was made up of a mix of singers, dancers, sports-acts and prize-giving ceremonies.

The category in which I was nominated was the sixth in a row of eight awards. I was very proud to jump up and climb on stage to receive the bronze award as I was voted the winner. Although in my eyes all nominated athletes were winners.

After the show a nice dinner was waiting for us. Pictures were taken, we chatted, our stomachs got filled up and time passed by... another nice event to look back at.

As I have got used to living from party to party, the next one took place in Brussels on 8 December. The same delegation took the road for about an hour in the direction of the Belgian capital to the Equestrala awards. This is an evening where the Belgian equestrians are able to elect winners in eight categories. I had the luck of being nominated in two of the eight, which were: Moment of the year and Performance of the year.

The event took place at one of the biggest Mercedes centres. The dress code was “Gala with a touch of red”. A black dress with one red earring became my choice.

The winner for the moment of the year was Olivier Philippaerts when he won the GP at Calgary. I was very happy about winning the Performance of the Year. Knowing this was chosen by equestrians means a lot to me. After a nice dinner, Bernard and I returned to Amougies because at 8:00 the next morning I had to ride my first horse as usual!