Equestrian sport is a longstanding tradition in British culture, so London as an Olympic venue feels like a perfect fit. But Hong Kong, site of the 2008 Olympic equestrian events? Not so much.
I stumbled across this awesome news clip from an English-speaking Hong Kong newspaper during the 2008 Olympic games.
I know, right? Hilarious!!! I mean, totally insulting. Excerpts from the story included quotes from local spectators like Raymond Lam, who said, “I fell asleep soon after the event began,” and Wong Man-Yee, who commented, “I was deeply bored.”
According to on-the-scene bloggers Julie Wilson and Anna Sharpley of Horse Deal’s Olympic Weblog, “Local Hong Kong residents have never been to an equestrian event before, so there has been a large educational program to try and teach the locals about the finer points of eventing, dressage and showjumping. However, there is a huge demand for the Olympic experience, so locals in their thousands attended the first two days of eventing dressage. Many of the eventing spectator debutantes were surprised there was no racing and thought the movements the horses were doing in the arena were a warm up for something more exciting.”