desoto_hia873: (Buffy - Squee - myhearts_atart)
EEEEEEEEEE!!!: The Sequel

The individual show jumping is on today, and Eric Lamaze of Canada is tied with a Swede for the gold! They're going to a jump off. There's a seven-way tie for the bronze, so there's a jump off for that too.

Sadly, Ian Millar had two jumps down in the first round, so he's out of it. Jill Henselwood had two knockdowns--the second one pretty much demolished the jump--and a refusal. She withdrew without finishing the course.

I took the morning off work to watch this. :-) Go Eric!

ETA: He is ERIC THE GOLD!!!!! WOOT!!!!!!!!!!! He had just a single rail down all Olympics--amazing!

::dances::
desoto_hia873: (Buffy - Squee - myhearts_atart)
Eeeeeeeeee! Canada and the U.S. are tied for gold in the team show-jumping competition. They're going to a jump off, and I found the live feed on the CBC website.

Canada hasn't medalled in an equestrian event at the Olympics since 1968. Ian Millar, veteran of nine Olympic Games, has never medalled.

This is going to kill me. Why are the Olympics not a two-week national holiday?

ETA: The U.S. won the jump off--Jill Henselwood had one rail down. Oh well! Still--a silver medal! ::squees some more::
desoto_hia873: (Me)
Jump Canada (which I think is a funny name--even Evel Knievel couldn't do that) has named the five members of Canada's Olympic showjumping team. One of them is Jill Henselwood. Jill and I rode together at Silver Spring Farm several lifetimes ago when we were both in high school (she was Jill McAngus then). She started much younger and had far more talent than I did. She always had her sights set on international competition, and she's made a successful career out of it.

Jill's first pony was a cute little chestnut named Lozein. They did very well on the hunter circuit in the Ottawa area. When she got too old for pony classes, she bought her first thoroughbred, Beleek, a liver chestnut with a very short stride. She spent ages trying to get Beleek to lengthen her stride, but I don't know if she ever succeeded. Eventually, she moved on to a more prestigious stable (Silver Spring was kind of bottom of the heap, prestige-wise, so she had nowhere to go but up), married a Name in the riding community, and worked her way up.

Also on the team is Ian Miller, a long-time fixture in showjumping competition. Ian has represented Canada internationally more times than any other athlete in any sport. This trip to the Olympics will tie the record for highest number of Games attended by an athlete. Ian's best known mount was Big Ben, a giraffe of a horse (Ian is 6'2"--he needs big horses) who won many titles and had a Canada Post stamp issued in his honour. He was nominated to carry the Canadian flag in the opening ceremonies, but that honour went to kayaker Adam van Koeverden.

Go Ian and Jill!
desoto_hia873: (Effulgent Spike - red_sunflower)
My parents took me to the Montreal Olympics in 1976. I had wanted to see either gymnastics or diving, but they couldn't get tickets to those very popular events, so instead I watched a day of track and field. I remember that it was a broiling hot day, we got terribly sunburned, and that we had crepes for dinner at a restaurant before going back home. I saw Greg Joy win his silver medal in the high jump (Canada became the first host country not to win a gold medal at its own Games that year, so the silver was rather a big deal), I think I saw Edwin Moses run the 400-metre hurdles, and the phrase "Cold beer, bière froid" became forever engraved in my consciousness from listening to the vendors hawking their wares in the stands.

And I've loved watching track and field events ever since.

I found out, completely by accident, that the Canadian Track and Field Championships were being held in Ottawa this weekend. It is a mark of how little support this sport receives in this country that the event was almost totally unadvertised and was held in a stadium with bleachers not unlike what you might find behind a high school. I had to pick my father up from the airport on Friday and his plane was delayed by two hours, so I used the opportunity to breathe in a little track dust. It made my day. Jim was in town this weekend, so I dragged him down for several more hours on Saturday. Among other things, we watched Perdita Feliciens win the 100-metres hurdles by the narrowest of margins (she was favoured to win the event in Greece, but went down on the first hurdle in the final) and Nicholas Macrozonaris come first in the 100-metre sprint. Donovan Bailey--past Olympic gold medallist and ex-training mate of Nicholas's--used to call him Nicholas Alphabet because he could never remember his surname. :-)

Saturday was the tenth anniversary of the men's relay team's win at the Atlanta Olympics. Track and field events are so very not Canada's strength, so this was cause for much excitement at the time. The event organizers reunited the relay team--Carleton Chambers (who ran in the heats and semi-final, but not the final), Robert Esmie (who shaved "Blast Off" into his hair for the race and again this weekend), Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin, and Donovan Bailey--for the occasion. They drove out in a stretch limo, gave a little speech, then hung around afterwards for autographs. I got them to sign our tickets and already have them framed and hanging on my wall.

I am well pleased.
desoto_hia873: (Torino Logo - desoto_hia873)
The Canadian men's curling team won gold today. What makes this notable - to me, at least - is that three of the team members are Newfoundlanders. Only one Newfoundlander has ever won a winter Olympics medal before and that was in 1944. Apparently, schools in St. John's were closed this afternoon so that kids could go home and watch the match. :-)
desoto_hia873: (Torino Logo - desoto_hia873)
Surprise winner of the cross-country ski sprint. Cutest. Olympian. Ever. And her mother is exactly the same. I just want to eat them all up. :-)

Huh

Feb. 22nd, 2006 06:06 pm
desoto_hia873: (Torino Logo - desoto_hia873)
So the Canadian men's hockey team's Olympics are over. Not only are they coming home without a medal, but they didn't even make it out of the quarter-finals. That sound you hear is the citizens of an entire country gnashing their teeth in collective agony.

I don't actually watch hockey myself (bad Canadian!), but the news did raise my eyebrows a little.

In other news... I got nothin'. My existence has been pretty much centered around the TV since the Olympics started. I'll resume my regularly scheduled life after this weekend, I guess.

Olympics

Feb. 7th, 2006 12:43 pm
desoto_hia873: (Faded Spike - vampkiss)
So, if you're Italian, you say Torino rather than Turin, right?

I don't know why city and country names change depending on what language you speak. I think the people who live there should get to choose the name and everyone else should say it like they do.

Olympics

Aug. 23rd, 2004 04:57 pm
desoto_hia873: (Default)
So one of Canada's Olympic rowers is named Buffy. Her last name? Williams.

Hee. :-)

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