Olympic fever

I could talk about my weekend, and I probably will eventually, but right now the cross country phase of Olympic eventing has just completed and I need to go and re-watch the whole thing.

I did try to watch it live, and was successful for a while, however the live feed cut out right after our 3rd Canadian rider so I missed a lot of the competition.

First let me have my rant about Canadian support of equestrianism.  Considering how Eric Lamaze with partner Hickstead won Canadian athlete of the year last year, there seems to still be a lack of respect for equine sports.  I truly believe that Ian Millar should have been awarded the privilege to carry the Canadian flag in the open ceremonies, as this year he is setting the record with his 10th Olympic appearance. 

Next, I was disappointed to find out that not only was the cross country not being aired on CTV, it was also dropped last minute from OLN, available only online to the few people who know and care enough about the sport to watch.  I showed a few people what the sport was about and they were stunned!  It is such an entertaining sport to watch for the scenery (including some fabulous jump designs: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=132807) the speed and excitement, and the danger!  Anyone who watches nascar should love this due to the sheer violence of some of the falls, no matter how twisted that may be.  In fact, it may be one of the most interesting sports to watch in all the games.  The fact that it isn’t broadcast means that even less people discover it!

Now on to the games itself, if you missed it this morning, you can still watch it here:

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/videos/channel/obs6/watch/equestrian-eventing-cross-country.html

A few spoilers (which if you follow, you would already know).

Only 2/5 Canadians made it through the course.  3 riders had falls, which automatically eliminates them from competition.  Hawley Bennett-Awad was rushed to hospital after a fall at fence 3, Gin and Juice is ok and I hear Hawley is conscious. 

Immediately after her fall, the next rider had a fall at the exact same spot.  Fence 3 turned out to be a difficult combination despite it not looking any scarier than a stadium jump.  Perhaps it was the angle of the broken line, or a scary person in the crowd?  Maybe this guy was shaking their concentration

(guy that shouts “Jackass” in Happy Gilmore, in case you didn’t get that!)

Peter Barry’s fall happened after looking down at the ditch, lacked the impulsion needed to get over the skinny and the horse landed on his belly on the jump.  Both appeared to be ok and walked away.

Not sure how Rebecca Howard’s fall happened yet, that was in the part where I couldn’t get my player working!

So sadly Canada won’t be eligible for team medals, as you need 3 riders to qualify.  Here’s hoping the luck improves for our individual riders still standing as well as the teams for the other disciplines!

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