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Friday, August 8, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

Nothing in Hong Kong is done in half measures, including the rain. Holy cats and dogs does it come down! Canadians here who are used to serious winter storms and wind report that the typhoon the other day seemed rather tame compared to the dire warnings to stay away from windows and not leave the hotel – but then it wasn’t quite a full-on typhoon, either. No one has scoffed at the rain, however. If I were to walk out the door of my guest house right now without a rain coat, in about five seconds I would be as wet as if I’d fallen into a hot tub. Looks like everyone was all freaky about the wrong thing; it’s not the heat that will distinguish these games, it’s the biblical precipitation.

Nothing exciting to report about the flight over. The AC flight attendants were the usual tired old lifers, the food awful, and the movies worse. But my travel companion (Jenn Ward) didn’t barf on me, and I enjoyed meeting Pedro Cibulka (yes, THE Pedro from Spruce Meadows) and eventer Kyle Carter’s dad Gary, who periodically walked laps of the aisles to fend off thrombosis. We were fast tracked through accreditation and immigration by charming volunteers at the airport, and within two hours of landing, were enjoying a beer with our fellow journalists from around the world at a Welcome Reception in the media hotel. So far, so perfect. The only thing the riders seem to have complained about is the jumbo screen in the stadium, at which Satchmo and a few others have expressed varying degrees of horror.

On for today: the xc course walk (the course has apparently been shortened to under 4 km), eventers’ first vet inspection and opening ceremonies, which will be broadcast live for us in the Parade Ring at Sha Tin racecourse. And of course more parties thrown for us by our wonderful hosts. Canada has unfortunately drawn early in the order of go, as the fourth of 24 nations. I guess I really will have to be at the dressage at 0630 tomorrow.

Today’s blog-blog

Cam Cole at the Vancouver Sun wrote a great little piece on one of the fastest-disappearing items on Beijing menus; if you enjoy a little canine humour, look up the Beijing Bound page at the Sun’s website:

Daphne Bramham is staying way on top of the equestrian news on that blog as well, so it’s worth checking out.

Here are some photos of me showing off my Olympic spirit by modeling the Canadian uniform.

Flight to Beijing-$1500             Showing your Olympic pride
                                                                  by wearing your countries uniform....


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