Hong Kong Monday 24th August. Olympics Come to an End
Story and Pictures by Berni Saunders
Last night (Beijing time) the world tuned in to say goodbye to the Olympic Games for another 4 years. It is a strange feeling to be bidding farewell to people that have become good friends and I feel like my Olympic experience has been part of life that has gone on for a long time. The Chinese people in Beijing and Hong Kong have given the rest of the world the warmest welcome to their land, their culture and opened their hearts to making this special event a way to showcase their unique mix of ancient traditions and vibrant, modern living. The Chinese are very well mannered, respectful, efficient and this has made being their guests a very enjoyable experience. There have been no hassles or gliches and no "she'll be right" situations to deal with.
The competition has been fantastic, the riders and their horses superb, the organisers, staff the the many volunteers have gone out of their way to make everyone at ease and able to do their job well. Toni-anne and I have met media colleagues from all over the world and shared some stories and news which has enriched our sport and theirs. It is a great feeling to be an Aussie as we are loved by the whole world. Our horsemen and women are respected by all, and our horses are considered as awesome as our riders.
The organisation of the Equestrian Events has been done at several levels - The IOC - International Olympic Committee, BOCOG - The Beijing Olympic Committee, AOC - The Australian Olympic Committee and the FEI - Federation Equestre Internationale. I am sure that working to produce the seamless co-ordination of all bodies has not been easy, from the viewpoint of the media and producing the news to send home the co-operation and information has been great. Without the media updates, press meetings with riders and officials and the collection of flash quotes, the job of informative reporting would have been very difficult. I would like to acknowledge the great help we all received in order to serve our audiences well. Official matters and medal presentations were graciously handled by the charming and popular Princess Haya.Thanks to BOCOG and the Hong Kong Jockey Club for the wonderful facilities that were available for the Equestrian Events of the 2008 Olympic Games.
The real stars of the show were the riders and the horses, here are some pictorial highlights from the past few weeks. I will be adding more stories and news about our time in Hong Kong when we return and settle back to the normal routine.
A colourful part of the Teams Medals Ceremonies ....
Individual Eventing Medallist - Gina Miles, Hinrich Romeike & Kristina Cook
In a nail biting finish to the Team Eventing Medal (Above)
the Germans were the Victors - we were all proud of the
Silver Medal placing for our wonderful Aussie riders (Below)
Rob Hanna the Team Manager with Shane Rose, Sonja Johnson,
Megan Jones and Lucinda and Clayton Fredericks.
Henrich Romeike (Ger)
Individual Gold Medallist
Anky Van Grunsven (Ned)
Individual Gold Medallist
The groups of three Teams Medallists for the Dressage
on the left the Dutch Team, centre The victorious German
Dressage Team and on the left the Danish Team.
Individual Dressage Medallists - Isabell Werth, Anky Van Grusenven & Hieke Kemmer
The individual Showjumping Medallists
Rolf -Goran Bengtsson, Eric Lamaze and Beezie Madden from the USA.
Showjumping press conference -Laurie Lever, Peter McMahon, Matt Williams & Edwina Alexander
© Cyberhorse 2008 Berni Saunders