2016 Rio Olympics
Every time the Olympics come around I sit back thinking, this time SURELY we will have a fair share of coverage of the equestrian events. I was wrong, if you blinked you missed it.
After watching DAYS of coverage of beach volleyball, swimming, even fencing, including coverage of the athletes family and the last 5 years of their medical history, I found no coverage of the Dressage or Eventing cross country for the US team ( only eventing dressage). One half hour.
The last straw was the Hip Hop Dressage video. What an insult.
What will it take to wake up the equestrian community? Usually money talks the loudest in the US, I cannot believe we don't spend more money than Beach Volleyball.
I appreciate all the hard working Olympians from all over the world, however the only thing that counts in this country is the number of gold medals they bring home.
If you compare the number of medals some of the smallest countries in the world have won,
F.eks my country Denmark ( 5 mill people) you can put my country inside Lake Michigan, it fits.
Also considering the wealth and support of the US athletes, I find that some the smallest countries are the biggest winners.
Let's do something, I will be happy to jump on any bandwagon that will try to change this for the next Olympics.
Professionalism is not the hidden demon.
One third of my life was in pursuit of the Olympic dream in swimming. A time when the East German’s dominated with the telling signs of anabolic steroid deposits along their check bones and jaw lines. They were every meaning of the word ‘Professionals’ and were fully compensated by the East German Government.
Tampering has always been a part of the Games. The 1976 Montreal Games allowed the Russian swimmers to use adhesive under their swim suits to reduce drag. Just one small oversight; no solvent! They had to rip skin off to remove their suits. I can still hear their cries.
In basketball and hockey you may have forgotten the reason why the Games became open to amateurs and professionals alike, the Russian basketball and hockey teams were the professionals of the day. In order for the Games to become fair the eligibility had to include the best in the world from all nations. Just one field shot by Serbia in Rio nearly sent the NBA professionals packing. (Is it unpatriotic to wish it so?)
However, like you, I cheer when the underdog nation rises above all the commercialism. Consider the 400 meters runner from South Africa who blew the field away. He was running with two hearts: his and his mother’s who had been forbidden to compete in her era because of the color of her skin. He assuredly goes home a hero. Ready to embrace his new professional career. It is part of the reward.
NBC Sports is a network that does not understand the journey to obtain perfection. In fact perfection does not bring in high network ratings. Most watch knowing the agony of defeat is a gasp away from perfection. Therefore, it is no surprise Dressage is misunderstood. Goodness, look at the gymnastic floor routines. Each competitor has just displayed a death defying aerial sequence of flips, twists, layout spins and spirals. Yet time and again the announcer can only say ‘the landing was a hop greater than a shoulder width. 3/10ths of a deduction for sure.” Are they kidding?! I’m thinking how many times did you land on your head to learn that routine? Yet you still have the courage to try it again!
It is not the Professionalism that will ruin the Games of the future nor the pursuit of perfection. It is bioengineering we all have to fear. The Games of 2020 is when the first genetically altered athletes are expected to filter into the mix. How do you test the human DNA code for tampering? Connie Brown, Tryon, NC
I was frustrated with the tv coverage until I found nbcolympics.com. All the events are available live or you can replay them. You just go to Schedule and you can filter by sport and day. I watched all the equestrian events this way. It was great because at the beginning of each event they would list the order of riders so I could fast forward to the US riders if I wanted. Just wanted to pass this along.