For those who don't know, Hong Kong will be holding the equestrian sports for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Due to the logistics of bringing horses into China, they required somewhere else to hold the dressage, showjumping and cross country events. Since Hong Kong has better facilities in handling these affairs, it was chosen to hold the equestrian sports. A few of the Hong Kong sports facilities have been converted to host these events. The Beas River Country Club doesn't require conversion but Penfold Park and the Hong Kong Sports Institute required fixing up.
Last weekend a trial competition was held to try out the facilities. Naturally there were good and bad things. Thankfully the cooling facilities for the horses and the stables were good but the weather didn't help since we just had a typhoon pass by the day before. Also the event was not sold out with about 50-75% attendance but that could be just due to the weather and the status of the event itself. Hopefully when the Olympics come round it will be full.
One thing I found strange was the ban on umbrellas. For some reason these will spook the horses if they are opened...
What I find strange about the Olympics is the sponsorship. Some I find OK, like Visa, Rolex or Samsung. Others I find disturbing - mainly the food sponsors. How can you promote going faster, higher and stronger if you are feeding everybody burgers from McDonalds and soft drinks from Coca Cola? Couldn't they find better companies, such as Gatorade/Lucoz for soft drinks and something else for the food. Otherwise it is ironic sponsoring sports events with junk food.
The Hong Kong media rights for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics have been given to Cable TV, a pay-cable TV company. This fact I find very disturbing, more disturbing than junk food makers sponsoring the Olympics. In the Olympic charter the Olympics is supposed to be broadcasted to as many people as possible. Giving the broadcast rights to a pay TV company is just the worst thing to do. The Olympics is probably the only event which brings people of the world together. Now most of Hong Kong won't be able to see it.
I'll probably harp on about this when the Olympics come around but I find the Olympics going away from its ideals. The Olympics are no longer about being the best you can and bring the world together. It is just about countries trying to bash each other to smithereens, now that we don't have wars anymore.