Category Archives: Equestrian Events

Days 11 & 12 in London: I’m in Love!

I know, I know.  I’m late on getting this blog post submitted.  Please bear with me!  I’m working a full-time job and watching the Olympics, and I don’t like to do anything else while I’m watching at home.  My attention while watching the games is undivided!

Day 11

I must make a confession:  I’m in love with these London Games.  I’m also in love with all of Great Britain.

Now, I already liked Great Britain quite much before these games.  Years ago I spent a few days in Wales and London.  The British people just tend to do a lot of things better than we Americans do:  reporting of news, healthcare system, respecting tradition….Well, now they’ve proven again how good they are at sport, and I’m in love with their darling stars of the men’s triathlon:  Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.  Who wouldn’t be charmed by these adorable two?

An exhausted Jonathan Brownlee is embraced by older brother Alistair. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images Europe)

I’d written briefly about the Brownlee Brothers during my preview of triathlon.  While the women’s triathlon proved to be disappointing for me (Neither Helen Jenkins, or Andrea Hewitt medaled!), I was super excited for the men’s, as I had one more opportunity to watch this grueling event that combines swimming, cycling, and running.  The  Brownlee brothers did not disappoint.  It was as if they’d rehearsed this race in their minds a thousand times, and it all played out magically, just like a movie.  Both brothers were in the top 3-5 racers from the minute they dove into the waters of Hyde Park until they crossed the finish line.  While they’re not shy about telling the media how competitive they are between each other, it was evident that they were working as a team during the cycling portion, relying on tactics to keep themselves in the top three.  And while Jonathan was penalized for getting off of his bike too early during the cycling-to-running transition, he made up the 15-second penalty, coming in third behind Spain’s Javier Gomez (silver medal) and his older brother, Alistair, who ran the last few feet draped in a GBR flag handed to him by a fan.  Alistair and Jonathan are the first British brothers to share an Olympic podium since the

Bronze and Gold for the brothers! (Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe)

Dougherty brothers did so for tennis back in 1900!

As if Day 11 wasn’t already “happy and glorious” enough with the Brownlees’ medals, Sir Chris Hoy did not let down his kingdom with another gold medal in cycling, bringing Great Britain’s total cycling gold medals to eight!  What’s after Knighthood?  Is there a step up from Sir?  Maybe Baron, Viscount, or Earl?

Add to all of this a gold medal in team dressage for Great Britain, and its gold in the team jumping event on Day 10, and one must wonder if there’s any stopping the Britons!

While most of the track and field events have focused on British and American athletes, I’ve got to take a moment to recognize Australia’s Sally Pearson.  It’s not been a great Olympics for Australia.  Thus far, they’ve only won six gold medals, but at least one of them came from Pearson, who blazed past all of her competitors, clearing each hurdle with such quickness like I’ve never seen.  She became the first Australian to ever win gold in the 100-meter hurdles!

Day 12

AFP Photo (Source: Sports Keeda)

While NBC was fixated (again) on scantily clad women playing beach volleyball (Congrats to Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh-Jennings!), I found more interesting competition during Day 12 online, with a humdinger in both handball and (field) hockey.  I have to say I was pulling for Iceland in its quarterfinal match against Hungary.  How many times does one get to say they’re watching Iceland compete in the Olympics?  Not very often.  But alas, the country wasn’t strong enough to hold off the Hungarians, but the  match did go into overtime, with Hungary edging out Iceland by only one point!  In women’s hockey, Netherlands and New Zealand battled on a sopping wet pitch for a spot in the finals.  The Dutch seemed to have the advantage during most of the game, even though both teams remained tied and the game went into a shootout!  The New Zealand goalie just seemed too slow, and with a crowd that seemed to be majority Orange, the game ended with a victory for Holland.  The women’s final will be a doozie:  Netherlands versus Argentina!

If all of this isn’t exciting enough, I haven’t even touched on taekwondo, wrestling or canoe/kayak sprinting; Mo Farah will be running again in the 5,000 meters; and Modern Pentathlon starts tomorrow!  Do these games have to end?

Faster, Higher, Stronger

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Filed under 2012 London Olympics, Athletics/Track & Field, Cycling, Equestrian Events, Field Hockey, Handball, Triathlon

London Preview: Equestrian

Equestrian Olympians in 1948 and hopefuls for 2012

What/When/Where:  Equestrian, Greenwich Park, July 28-August 9

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London’s Venues: Part 1 of 3

The venues for the 2012 London Games are too interesting, beautiful, and historic to try to cover in one blog post.  This post is the first of three parts dedicated to the noteworthy venues for the 2012  Summer Olympiad.

Olympic venues are probably one of my favorite topics.  For two weeks these venues become quite familiar to us fans and the athletes.  Beijing gave us the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.  London is offering up several venues–both old and new–which have the chance to become memorable fan favorites.

With other previous Olympic venues now in ruins (think Sarajevo, Athens),  Olympic host cities must  now be committed to making the Olympic Games sustainable.   They  must build what is needed, use other structures which already exist, and be committed to making sure that the venues will be used after the Games conclude, or materials from the venues must be used in future permanent construction.  The London Organizing Committee has made sure that it incorporated these strategies, as is evident from its website:

All our venues are designed to ensure that all the athletes perform to the best of their ability whilst pushing the boundaries of sustainability knowledge and design.  From the start we planned with legacy in mind. Where possible we have used existing venues….Where there is a legacy need we have built new venues…and where there is no need, we have built temporary venues….
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Filed under 2012 London Olympics, Cricket, Equestrian Events, Olympic Fever, Pentathlon, Soccer

The Tragic Death of Folds Gretna Vow

Article first published as Equestrian Horses’s Life Stolen – Possibly Murdered on Blogcritics.

Grace. Strength. Decorum.  These are the words one might think of when speaking of the Olympic sport of Equestrianism. Yet the sport which is often viewed as one for the elite and the privileged discovered it isn’t immune to violence or malicious intent.

Last month, British equestrian athlete Charlotte Springall’s horse, Folds Gretna Vow, was found dead, lying in her own pool of blood. She died from a wound which punctured her diaphragm.

Officials do not think the gash was accidentally self-inflicted.  Although horses often can impale themselves on a fence or other objects, it seems very unlikely in this case that the horse’s death was the result of her own unintentional actions, but rather the result of a human’s malevolent actions.

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