The Dressage horses arrived today direct from Aachen, Germany. Orion, Gran Gesto and Pop Art all stepped off the horse van looking super. 2 teams here and 1 more to go….the Jumpers who are scheduled to arrive August 4th. I don’t have any direct experience in flying horses, so it always amazes me at how well horses travel by air and step out with an expression on their face which seems to say “ok, so what’s next?”
The dressage team is almost complete, with everyone here except for Leslie Reid who arrives tomorrow. The barn is quickly becoming completely painted with red everywhere since Team Canada takes up more than 1/2 of the aisle with Russia and Belarus taking up the remaining stalls. It sure is pretty cool walking into the barn and seeing the maple leaf everywhere.
The venue is definitely becoming busier as it starts to fill up with horses, athletes and support staff. I have to admit that it’s pretty fun for me to see some of the ‘big names’ up close and personal, including Monica Theodorescu who walked past on Whisper. Can’t wait to see Mark Todd do his cross-country thing.
Pop Art and Holly
Gran Gesto and Lindsay
Orion and Bonnie
Orion scopes out the view
Gran Gesto checks out the white fluffy shavings while having his shipping gear removed
Feeling refreshed after a roll in the white fluffy stuff
It was just like Christmas today! Approx 40 suitcases of clothing was delivered to the Media hotel today (where I’m based) from Beijing containing the official Canadian Olympic Committee clothing. Let me back up for a second…..the suitcases were each in their own box, so 40+ boxes were delivered. So first job was to pull out the boxes for those who are already here and an outfitting session was scheduled in 2 hotel rooms (1 for girls, 1 for guys). The COC arranged for a tailor to come who could do any on-the-spot alterations which worked out quite well. Luckily the clothing sizes worked out for about 80% of everyone. For the other 20%, the COC is supposed to be sending a mixture of sizes on Saturday so hopefully people can swap to the size they need. This is the 2nd outfitting I’ve been through (2007 Pan Ams being the first) and it seems that you kind of hold your breath when you open the bag hoping that the size you asked for is in there. Then the second hope is that the size you asked for actually fits! With the exception of some shorts, I pretty much lucked in with the sizing.
Everyone was pretty happy with the clothing, and we no longer have to be jealous of the other countries who have been walking around in their nations’ gear. I personally think it’s way better than last year’s Pan Ams….much more red & white Canadian and they’ve incorporated chinese artwork and symbols. Not to mention some very cool metallic lettering on some of the t-shirts. I’m not to crazy about the psychedelic pyjama pants but who knows, they might grow on me! Although I think if a lot of us wear the pants at the same time, people might think that the Canadians are on their way to an overnight slumber party.
what my hotel room looked like once I had all the suitcases out of their boxes.
It’s been a bit busy lately and sadly I’m behind on my postings. On Monday night, I was invited to dinner with the Canadian Eventing team at a restaurant atop the Sheraton Kowloon. The view as spectaculor! Not only do most of the buildings have brightly coloured decorative lighting, but at 8pm a number of the buildings put on a synchronized laser show. My pictures here from my little Powershot camera don’t do it justice, believe me. The dinner was sumptious, and it was nice to get to know the Eventers a little bit better (being a Dressage girl myself). Also sitting around the table were Canadian Team Leader Mike Gallagher, US Team Leader Jim Wolf, Canadian Event Coach David O’Connor and the head of racing operations at the Hong Kong Jockey Club John Ridley. Converation was both interesting and entertaining, especially the discussion comparing the changes to the sport of eventing today compared to 20 years ago…..and where it might be heading in the future. Not to mention I had some of the most delicious crab cakes I’ve ever eaten!
Yesterday and today were pretty quiet days. Went to the New Town Plaza to pick up the rest of the sim cards for the phones that the riders, grooms and support staff will be using to stay connected during the games. Enjoyed an absolutely delicious lunch of beef regahn (sp?). Prices here are incredibly good. Lunch for 2 including soft drinks came to approx $18 Canadian dollars. I decided to be a bit adventurous (for me) and walked back to the hotel from the mall. I did a bit of exploring of the Sha Tin Park, then walked across the bridge over the Shing Mun River. Only took about 15 mins although the heat was pretty intense.
fountain by the mall......yes, those are eyeballs
Today was another quiet day. Met with the hotel’s catering director to organize the final details on a Welcome reception that is being held for the Canadian Team August 5th. I love the food here and can’t wait to try the spicy fish cakes and satays! In the afternoon, Mike and I travelled to Hong Kong Island to meet with members of the Canadian Consulate who will be holding a special reception in honour of the Canadian Equestrian Team. Their office offered a fantastic view so I’ve posted a few pictures here. Today is apparently the hottest day on record (34 but feels like 50…..that’s not a typo either!), with also record smog as is evident in the photos. The ‘very hot weather warning’ remains in effect. The next few days are supposed to be rainy so hopefully that will cool things off a bit and won’t produce a sauna effect. I think the Eventers are planning their first day of riding tomorrow as their team coach, David O’Connor, arrived last night.
the building on the left was used to shoot an action scene in the latest Batman movie "Dark Knight". Sadly, I did not see Christian Bale.
more cool architecture
iphones are everywhere!
botanical version of the Olympic rings