Live from the Equestrian Olympics

Farewell, Hong Kong

I'm writing this from my own desk chair, looking at the comfortingly familiar surroundings of my home office. Yes, I'm finally home from the 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong. The journey encompassed a 15-hour departure-flight delay due to Typhoon Nuri -- Hong Kong's worst in nearly a decade, and scoring a direct hit on the city -- a long flight that crossed the international date line, thereby... Read More

The Ides of August

For those who traveled to Hong Kong for the 2008 Olympic equestrian events, August came in like a lion and is roaring out like a starving pride of beasts. An August 6 typhoon ushered in many people's arrival, and a real monster of a storm is ushering us out -- or, more accurately, preventing us from leaving. As I write this, Typhoon Nuri is a T9 on the typhoon scale -- that's 9 out of a scale of 10... Read More

Where's the Good Stuff?

A number of people have posted or e-mailed to ask where they can find 2008 Olympic equestrian souvenirs. Many of us here in Hong Kong are asking the same question. The Beijing Olympics organizers have done a stand-up job on nearly everything here in Hong Kong, but they seem to have overlooked the merchandising cash cow that is Olympic souvenirs. Sport-specific Olympic pins, which are always in demand... Read More

Stormy Weather

It's midday on August 21 here in Hong Kong, and we're under what's known as a "T1" warning -- that's T as in typhoon. A typhoon is a tropical cyclone, which when it makes landfall brings heavy rain and high winds. We're in the middle of typhoon season, which is much like hurricane season in the US, only with more frequent storms. A typhoon blew through Hong Kong on August 6, but since then we've been... Read More

Dressage Medals Controversy

Olympic dressage competition joins the ranks of ice dancing with accusations of nationalism in judging. In the Grand Prix Freestyle, held last night, Germany's Isabell Werth earned a score of 78.100 percent to win the individual silver medal despite a major disobedience by her mount, Satchmo, who backed and bucked instead of piaffing at one point during their ride. It was essentially a repeat of the... Read More

A Golden Moment

I can't count the number of Olympic medal ceremonies I've watched on TV over the years. I even got to see one in person when I attended the 1996 Atlanta Games and saw Germany's Isabell Werth on Gigolo win the individual dressage gold medal over the Netherlands' Anky van Grunsven on Bonfire. As thrilling as that experience was, last night I learned that nothing compares to hearing one's own national... Read More

Coverage Update

I see that a couple of blog readers have wondered about the competition schedule and how to access live coverage. As I write this, the morning of August 16 in Hong Kong, team dressage has ended and individual competition begins tonight with the Grand Prix Special. US riders Courtney King-Dye on Mythilus and Steffen Peters on Ravel have qualified for the Special by placing 25th or better in the Grand... Read More

The Culture Club

The morning's roundup of sights and observations at and around the 2008 Olympic equestrian events: The transport system. Inter-venue shuttle buses are segregated by accreditation type, meaning that thou shalt not share a ride with an athlete or a venue worker. Environmentalists would shed more than one tear at seeing full-size motorcoaches idling empty, doors open and A/C blasting, waiting for passengers... Read More

The International Language

Here at the 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong, it's not love; it's commerce -- or, more accurately, bartering. Pin trading, long a popular Olympic pastime, is alive and well here. People stud their credential-card lanyards with pins, thereby becoming walking bazaars of sorts. Would-be traders eye the merchandise and offer up pins as prospective swaps. You don't need to speak the language... Read More

Observations From The Other Side Of The Globe

When I visit a new place, or hear about someone else's trip, it's the little details that bring the place, the people, and the experience to life. In that spirit, here are some of the things I'll remember about Hong Kong and the 2008 Olympic equestrian competition. A global melting pot. Want diversity? Attend an Olympic Games. Different accents and languages everywhere you go, many spoken by the same... Read More

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About This Blog

Award-winning author Jennifer Bryant takes you behind the scenes at the 2008 Equestrian Olympics, held in Hong Kong, China.