Ok, get ready for a whole lotta pictures with me in them. Thanks to the IOC blogging guidelines, yours truly has to be in any pictures taken in an accredited area. This is going to be tough for me because I typically do everything possible to avoid being in pictures!
Although today was a quiet day, it still managed to whip by pretty quickly. A team leader meeting was held again this morning. Nothing too exciting when on, just a recap on meal vouchers (which are purchased by countries for their grooms to eat in the cafeteria), training hours, bridle numbers etc. The biggest discussion seemed to centre around day passes for the venue. My understanding that for past games day passes have been somewhat readily accessible for those people who do not have regular accreditation. But things are really strict for these games and going strictly by the book. It’s definitely understandable that you don’t want a whole gaggle of people wandering around the venue on non-competition days and roaming through the stabling area. At the same time it’s difficult when BOCOG (the Beijing Olympic Organizing committee) were so strict with the # of accreditations that they handed out to each country, and many countries have extra support staff that have no accreditation (ex. physiotherapists, farriers etc.) So far no one has been successful in getting a day pass so it will be interesting to see how that one plays out.
The horses continue to look very well and seem to be adapting no problem to their new digs and the weather. The weather doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. I have asthma and have had no problems. When it gets particularly hot, there might be a bit of a haze…..but then again, the same thing happens in Toronto when it gets really hot. With the main competition arena being open now at night until 10pm there are many riders who take the horses out lightly in the morning, then again in the evening to school. Not long now before the first jog for the Eventers on August 8th! The Canadian Eventing Team seem to be in really great spirits with all horses doing well. They even did a gallop on the famous track at Penfold Park. How cool is that?
Tomorrow the jumper grooms arrive, with the horses coming the next day. So within 48 hours the whole Canadian Team will be in Hong Kong and the maple leaf will truly be everywhere. Go Canada!