Tags: hoydens

13 Aug 2008, Comments (19)

Sports refusenik posts on sport

Author: Helen

For those of you who are already sick and tired of male olympic athletes in lycra onesies or little-boy long shorts and horrible sunglasses that make them look like insects, and endless footage of the Barbie beach volleyball, get an eyeful of one of our Olympic eventing teammates in the Dressage stage. Colin Firth, move over!
Clayton Fredericks competes in the Olympic Team 3DE

Being an unsporty person, and having a very high cynicism level already towards the Olympics and its hosts, I was quite prepared not to give a rat’s about any aspect of the actual sport. To my surprise, I find there are a couple of things I do care about.

One is the way in which the Olympic coverage and the way in which some sports are evolving perfectly demonstrate the problems facing young women who are trying to excel at a high level, but are being taught by the media and sporting bodies that it’s their, err, sporting bodies which are the marketing tool and raison d’etre of it all. More from the Hoydens about Town.

The other is the abysmal coverage of the sport in which we are just a hairsbreadth behind Germany, the acknowledged world leaders. This is a sport in which we have just gained silver in a team event lasting three days. I’m referring, of course, to the equestrian team, and specifically the team eventing.

This is an elitist activity, of course, although that stable door is open and the horse long gone (pun intended) for a lot of sports at the Olympic level. Let’s just let that balloon go for a sec and compare their treatment with that of our swimmers and ball sport athletes. Unlike the pampered darlings of the AIS, these people have had to spend years preparing not just themselves but a big, fragile, sometimes unpredictable animal for a competition in which a tiny slip can put you in a wheelchair, or kill you. Then they have had to do a three-day event which you could perhaps describe as a kind of horse triathlon, where the same horse has to perform the widest range of tasks imaginable, again with little room for error.

This is a sport where men and women compete against each other, and in teams together, with no distinctions. This time around, it was one of the female members of the team who came highest in the individual rankings (just missing out on individual bronze, unfortunately.) In addition to that, it’s one where older people can still excel. Our oldest equestrian team member is Laurie Lever- this is his Olympic debut, at 60!

And I know we Aussies are legendary swimmers, but do most Australians know how high we are in the world of equestrian eventing? How are they ever going to find out, when the equestrian coverage is just not there, and every day we’re subjected to more splishy splashy, splishy splashy from the pool, interspersed with airbrushed footage of a model-like Liesel Jones packing the Australian population in her suitcase? (Yeah, fat chance I’m getting in there with your socks, Liesel.) Yesterday, the Australian team were running second to Germany and were possibly in sight of a gold medal, but I had to search and search through the AGE to find one tiny article buried in an obscure position. I tried a tabloid, MX, and it had nothing at all. That was the point at which SOME SUPPORT FROM THEIR COUNTRY might have counted for something.

Can it possibly be a coincidence that this isn’t a sport where hot young women are hopping about in skimpy lycra cossies?

The Australian equestrian team must be so discouraged at the treatment they’ve received from the Australian media. Absolutely bloody shameful.

Here’s Megan Jones, the highest individual Australian scorer, with Irish Jester in the cross country.

Australia's Megan Jones rides Irish Jester during the equestrian eventing cross country competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong

Photo from theage.com.au

24 Mar 2008, Comments Off on Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Author: Helen

Ariel tagged me for a meme on weird and wonderful things your kid does, which reminded me I’ve been sitting on a meme that Bernice tagged me for aeons ago. So I’ll do that one first and tackle the Quirky Kid next.

The rules of this meme are:
Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names, and links to their blogs.
Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. Procrastination is one of my worst faults. (“NO SHIT?!” I hear you say.)
2. I lived in Adelaide until the age of 15, so although I’m a rusted-on Melbournian now, I was a crow eater. I feel a pleasant nostalgia now when I read Adelaide blogs and see references to Burnside, North Terrace, Rundle Mall and other evocative names.
3. Unlike it seems 99% of humanity, I love all things brassica. A pile of brussel sprouts steamed with some butter and garlic and salt and I’m in heaven. Broccoli, Chinese or Italian, and cauliflower, stir fried or with cheesy sauce. Mmmm, cheese…
4. I just got my first grey hair. It’s sitting in the middle of the front of my hairline, waiting for others to join it.
5. I’ve got a vertical scar in the middle of my forehead, a bit like Harry Potter’s but not from any attack by Lord Voldemort. It’s from a flat stone flung by my friend, Gary, when I was six. (Not flung in anger, or flung at me at all; we were skipping stones at Short Beach, Connecticut, and his hand slipped. He was mortified, and gave me one of his plastic dinosaurs, which I kept for years, after I’d had my stitches.)
Cute lovable kid stuff coming up next soon at some point.

I’m tagging Ariel, L., JahTeh and the Hoydens (both of them).