Stay connected

“I never thought I’d see it again” Frome’s Olympic Gold medalist ready for Frome flame

FROME’S own Olympic gold medalist admits she never expected to see the Olympic Torch again after bagging a gold medal in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games; but she will be on the streets of Frome cheering the torch on as it passes through the town on Tuesday 22nd of May.
Bridget Parker, who won the team gold medal in equestrian eventing in 1972, said that she didn’t expect to see the Olympic Torch again after witnessing the flame light the cauldron from inside the Olympic Stadium in Munich 40 years ago. Now, she’s the patron for More Than Gold in Frome, an organisation working together to help the town celebrate this year’s Olympic Games. Speaking to Frome Times Bridget, who lives in the town said, “Honestly, I never thought I’d see the torch again, but then I never thought I would receive a gold medal either! “To win a gold medal at the Olympics is the most incredible feeling, it’s not something you can describe. “The torch passing through Frome will be very nostalgic, and very interesting to see. It would be great to see as many people as possible support the torch coming through the town. This is a great opportunity and we have the chance to do it proud.” Bridget was part of the British gold medal equestrian eventing team in what was later called one of the 30 greatest sporting achievements of all time by Time magazine. This could be partly down to the fact that Bridget was at the competition as a reserve rider. “I wasn’t meant to ride,” she explained, “but I got the call saying a horse went lame and I had to stand in. I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t have time to feel nervous. You always are slightly prepared in the back of your head, so should the call come through, then you know you can give it your best.” Bridget recalls the moment when she found out about a terrorist attack that overshadowed the 1972 Olympic Games, now known as the Munich Massacre. After being kidnapped from the Olympic Village and held hostage, nine Israeli athletes were killed by the Palestinian group, Black September, at a German military airbase. Bridget recalls the attack, “We were in the village at the time and a group of soliders were closing off the area. They actually gave us the option of staying there or going off the site. Needless to say, we chose to get out of the village. It was after our event, but I remember seeing a lot of military shutting down the village, we weren’t aware of what was going on at the time. “Following the attack, the games were suspended for a day for a memorial service. There was a speech from Avery Brundage (then President of the International Olympic Committee) who praised the strength of the games saying they must go on. That was quite a remarkable moment.” Bridget, who trained in eventing since a young girl, is now part of the Great Britain selection committee, which is responsible for selecting this year’s eventing team. “I hope they do well,” said Bridget. “They’ve all competed in huge events before and I wish them the best of luck.”