The Tipperary native is Ireland's sole representative in the show-jumping competition
That was the reaction of many casual sports fans when Greg Broderick was given Ireland's sole spot in the Olympic show jumping competition, in June. The 30-year-old Tipperary native was selected ahead of Bertram Allen and 2012 bronze medallist Cian O'Connor to fly the flag for Ireland in Brazil.
With his horse Going Global, Broderick begins his campaign on Sunday afternoon with the hope of winning a medal next week. The Olympic competition is like a marathon for show-jumpers, with five rounds needing to be completed with the hope of making the podium.
Ireland failed to qualify for the team event, and Broderick thinks that may give him an advantage over his rivals, who will be competing simultaneously in both the team and individual competitions.
"There's more pressure on team jumping", Broderick admitted. "The Aga Khan is Dublin is probably as pressurised a situation as you get." Going Global has jumped a double-clear in the previous two Aga Khan events in Dublin which bodes well for Broderick's fortunes in Brazil.
75 pairs will start Sunday's event, and three rounds will whittle the field down to 35 duos next Friday for the two final rounds. The competition is a mental test, as much as it it a physical one. Broderick is looking at the event, as if he were competing in any other competition.
"The thing is to try and not get over-excited about it. I'm not overthinking the Olympic Games. We will take every jump as it comes. I won't be thinking of the final round, until I have the second last one jumped."
"It's another course of fences at the end of the day. It's an Olympic Games but the horse doesn't that. It's just another course of jumps that he has been jumping clear all day."
Broderick was speaking in Dublin after competing at the "Jumping in the City" event in Shelbourne Park hours before the Opening Ceremony in the Maracana Stadium. He doesn't plan to take in some of the other events in the Brazilian city, while competing.
Safely through the trot up! Taking in the scenery in the main arena ! 😀 pic.twitter.com/ymU4fHIoh8— Greg Broderick (@gregbrodericks) August 12, 2016
"I dont want to get into the whole hustle and bustle of the Olympics. It doesn't overly interest me, that side of things. I'm really looking forward to getting out there and enjoying the whole experience of it. I just want to key the horse and myself as low-key as possible."
While the Tipperary-man is extremely analytical in his approach, he feels that along, with Going Global, the duo can at least match the bronze medal of Cian O'Connor and Blue Loyd 12 in London.
"I'm not going there to make up the numbers. Realistically, I have a horse that is one of the best in the World. He hasn't had a fence down at the top level. Olympic show-jumping is about jumping clear rounds."
When speaking to Broderick, his confidence in his own abilities, along with those of his horse Going Global are very refreshing. While Irish eyes have been focused on other sports and athletes, Broderick could be about to write his name into Irish Olympic history.
If he does do that, nobody will be asking who Greg Broderick is anymore.