Tag Archives: Olympic Games

Saudi Arabia’s First Female Olympian Addresses IOC Women and Sport Conference

Dalma Rushdi Malhas, Saudi Arabia’s first female Olympian, addressing the fifth IOC Women and Sport conference.

Lausanne (SUI), 26 February 2012 – Dalma Rushdi Malhas, who made history by becoming the first Saudi female athlete to compete on the Olympic stage when she rode at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, was amongst a high-profile group of speakers who addressed the recent IOC Women and Sport conference in Los Angeles (USA). The 20-year-old, who won individual bronze in Singapore, spoke of her hope of gender equality in all sports.

“I cannot yet compare myself to the riders of the Saudi First Team, but I am determined to give my best to reach their level one day, and prove that all women athletes, all over the world, should be given equal opportunities,” she said.

Twenty-four hours earlier, Malhas had received the loudest applause of the day after being invited onto the stage by IOC Executive Board member Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco. Malhas, and then her mother, were brought on stage to demonstrate that female athletes from the Middle East can make their mark on the international sporting arena.

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FEI President Looks Forward to Another 100 Years of Equestrian Sport in Olympic Movement

Sweden's Carl Bonde and Emperor won the individual Dressage gold on home ground in Stockholm at the 1912 Olympic Games.

Lausanne (SUI), 22 February 2012 – The London 2012 Olympic Games marks 100 years of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement, and FEI President HRH Princess Haya is looking forward to celebrating the centenary at Greenwich Park this summer.

“We are really proud to be celebrating 100 years of Olympic equestrian sport at the London 2012 Games and it’s wonderful that we will be doing that at an iconic venue like Greenwich Park right in the heart of the Games,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said today.

“Greenwich Park is the second largest venue in London 2012 and tickets for the Cross Country were one of the fastest to sell out. Demand has been so high for our sport that tickets for all the equestrian disciplines were sold out in a matter of weeks, establishing us as one of the most popular sports in the Games.

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Two More Teams Qualify for London 2012 Olympic Games Eventing

Lausanne (SUI), 19 August 2011 – France and Sweden qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games as a result of their placings in the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships 2011 team competition. France finished in silver medal position on a score of 151.10 and Sweden placed fourth (199.20). Germany, the leading nation at the Championships, had already achieved Olympic qualification. Bronze medallists Great Britain are automatically qualified as next year’s Olympic Games host nation.

Five countries had secured their Olympic participation at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in Kentucky: Canada, New Zealand, USA, Germany, and Belgium. These added to the host nation and the two countries qualified this weekend bring the number of Eventing teams qualified to date for London 2012 to eight.

The next event for direct team qualification is the Asia Pacific Eventing Championship which will take place at Blenheim (GBR) from 8 to 11 September and which is open to teams from the Olympic Groups F (Africa and Middle East) and G (South East Asia and Oceania). The best placed team at this event will qualify.

The Asia Pacific Eventing Championship will be followed by the Pan American Games to be held in Guadalajara (MEX) from 14 to 29 October. The two best placed teams from Olympic Groups D (North America) and E (Central and South America), excluding the USA and Canada, will secure participation in London.

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Para-Equestrians Get Grant Boost for London 2012

Gold standard: Britain’s Lee Pearson (GBR), MBE OBE has become a Paralympic icon with nine Paralympic gold medals to his name (pictured at Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games)

Lausanne (SUI), 25 July 2011 – Para-Equestrians bidding to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games can now apply for funding as part of a brand new grant scheme to help with training expenses.

Eurovestech plc, the pan-European development capital fund, has put up a €25,500 grant to support 15 equestrian athletes around the world as they prepare for London 2012.

The grants, which will be distributed by the FEI, will be available to riders who have not won medals at the Paralympics, World Championships or World Equestrian Games since 2004.

National Federations representing Para-Equestrians from smaller nations where funding is limited are urged to apply for the grants. The grants are available both to riders who compete on their own horses and those that compete on borrowed horses.

Interested riders should contact their National Federation with their competition and training plans before 15 August 2011.

“It’s great news to hear of this initiative as the IPC is keen that a great number of athletes get the opportunity to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games across all sports, including Para-Equestrian,” explained Chief Executive Officer of the International Paralympic Committee Xavier Gonzalez.

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Greenwich Test Event Hailed a Huge Success

The London skyline provided the perfect backdrop to this week's Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**) - the equestrian test event for the 2012 Olympic Games. Photo: FEI Photo Catalogue.

London Prepares Series (GBR), 7 July 2011 – Greenwich Park in London (GBR) is a much quieter place today as the runners and riders, supporters, officials and most of the staff who helped create a magical atmosphere during this week’s test event have departed from the site where the equestrian Olympic Games will take place in 2012.

The Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**) has already been hailed a huge success, but after a week of hectic activity, and three days of intense competition, it is now time to reflect in the aftermath.

The lasting memory for those lucky enough to be there this week is the sound of the excited school-children screaming with delight as they witnessed top-class horse sport at close quarters for the very first time.  For the hardened professionals, both in the saddle and on foot performing their various essential tasks, it was a heart-warming experience.

A generation of young people, who would otherwise never be exposed to the sport, were curious, enthralled and intrigued by what they saw, and they’ve shaken the foundations of a sometimes conservative world.  They’ve reminded us all that horse sport isn’t just about equine talent and rider skills.  It’s also about fun and entertainment, about embracing the partnership between man and horse and presenting it in a whole new light to a world of people who, given the opportunity, will learn to love it.

There is a sense right now that the equestrian events at London 2012 could mark the beginning of a whole new era, and how timely that will be for equestrian sport which celebrates its centenary as part of the Olympic movement next year.

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Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**)

New Zealand's Mark Todd pictured presenting Viscount George, the ride of his fellow-countryman Andrew Nicholson, at the first horse inspection for the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC**). Photo: Peter Llewellyn/FEI.

Biographies of all competing riders can be found here: http://goo.gl/tqVqx.

EXCITING BUILD-UP TO OLYMPIC TEST EVENT by Louise Parkes

London Prepares Series (GBR), 3 July 2011 – There was a huge buzz of anticipation and excitement as the first horse inspection for the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational (CIC **) got underway in London (GBR) this afternoon at the first LOCOG test event in the build-up to London 2012.

Over the next three days, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games will test key aspects of the Greenwich logistics and operations in preparation for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the field of play, timing and scoring technology, venue installation and workforce.

A total of 40 riders from 23 countries will take part in the Greenwich Park Eventing Invitational, which offers the normal grading points for an international CIC**, and which will involve Dressage tomorrow (Monday 4 July), Cross-Country on Tuesday and two rounds of Jumping on Wednesday in order to reflect the Olympic format.

There will also be demonstrations of the other Olympic equestrian disciplines of Dressage and Jumping, along with Para-Dressage to further test the facilities.

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In Memoriam: Henri Chammartin (SUI), 1918-2011

Henri Chammartin (SUI) and Woermann during their winning test at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

Lausanne (SUI), 2 June 2010 – Olympic and European Dressage champion Henri Chammartin (SUI) passed away this week at the age of 92. A legend in the Dressage world, he competed in five consecutive editions of the Olympic Games – Helsinki 1952, Stockholm 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, and Mexico 1968 – winning a total of five medals.

During his first Olympic participation in 1952, Chammartin was a member of the Swiss team that claimed team silver. He received his second Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1956.

Henri Chammartin became Olympic champion in 1964 and also won his second team silver that year. He rode the 13-year-old Swedish-bred Woermann which had travelled to Tokyo only as a reserve horse to his stablemate and reigning European champion Wolfdietrich, which was unfortunately lame.

Tokyo 1964 was the first Olympic Games to which horses were flown by aircraft. The Swiss team departed from Amsterdam on 28 September at noon and arrived, with a stop-over in Anchorage, Alaska, on 29 September at 3pm.

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In Memoriam: Bill Roycroft (AUS)

Lausanne (SUI), 31 May 2011 – Australian equestrian legend James George “Bill” Roycroft OBE passed away on Sunday 29 May at the age of 96.

Bill Roycroft was one of Australia’s greatest Olympians and one of only five Australians to have competed in five consecutive Olympic Games.

His Olympic début was in Rome in 1960 where he helped secure Australia’s first-ever equestrian medal – team gold in Eventing.

He went on to compete in three Summer Olympics with his sons. In Tokyo (1964) he competed with his eldest son Barry, in Mexico City (1968) he was joined by Wayne where they won bronze together and in Munich (1972) he competed with youngest son Clarke. In Montreal (1976) he secured bronze with Barry and Wayne, becoming Australia’s oldest Olympic medallist and competitor at 61 years and 31 days.

Bill Roycroft became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1969 for his service to sport, and was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee in 1978 for his outstanding achievement in sport.

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London 2012 Olympic Equestrian Timetable Announced

Lausanne (SUI), 15 February 2011 – The London 2012 Olympic equestrian timetable has been announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG). London 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of equestrian sport in the Olympic movement.

The Olympic Opening Ceremony on 27 July will be followed by 12 days of equestrian competition, with the world’s best athletes competing for six gold medals in the Olympic disciplines of Eventing, Dressage and Jumping. The equestrian events all take place at the stunning Greenwich Park venue. Britain’s oldest Royal Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Greenwich Park is just 12 minutes from the main stadium.

Eventing opens the Olympic equestrian events on 28 July with two days of Dressage, followed by Cross-Country on 30 July and two rounds of Jumping on 31 July to decide the Team and Individual medals.

Dressage gets underway on 2 August with two days of Grand Prix competition, which forms the first qualifier for both the Team and Individual. The top seven Teams and 11 best-placed Individuals go forward to the Grand Prix Special on 7 August, which will decide the Team medals. The Freestyle to Music to decide the Individual medals takes place on 9 August.

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Todd Flettrich Views World Equestrian Games as a Great Stepping Stone toward Future Goals

Todd Flettrich and Otto had a great showing in the FEI Dressage Grand Prix at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo © 2010 Susan J. Stickle

Lexington, KY – October 8, 2010 – Todd Flettrich and his grand prix mount Otto were recently a part of the United States Dressage Team that competed during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, KY. The pair finished with a great score in the FEI Grand Prix and Flettrich left Kentucky happy with his consistent results and a fun experience riding for his country.

Flettrich considers it a great honor to have been a part of the United States Team at this year’s WEG, and believes the competition was a positive stepping stone toward his future goals. Flettrich has made it his main goal to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London and feels that his horse and his riding show improvement with each international competition.

During WEG, Flettrich showed first for Team USA on the opening day of dressage competition with his mount Otto, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. The pair finished in the 38th position out of the world’s very best horses and riders.

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