|Flags | A Popular "Souvenir"|
In terms of organisation, a WEG or Olympics is like no other, in that with the usual annual horse trials, you always have the benefit of 'what worked and what didn't work last year'. You then have the added complication of horses, competitors, team staff, uncle tom cobbly and all heading your way from all corners of the globe speaking all manner of languages, and if you're not careful the tail spin can gather momentum...(do a google search on the Delhi Commonwealth Games, you'll see what I mean).
With this in mind, it is inevitable that there are teething problems in these last few weeks and days leading up to the games, as you [the organiser] realise you've misjudged something along the way, like the distance between car parking and stables, requiring grooms and teams to shift all manner of kit and caboodle miles on foot with a wheel barrow. It always takes more to people to organise things than you think in order to ensure the fine detail is covered off, and one of the events I fear for most is London 2012.
All of the niggles and complaints I've read about so far seem to be minor irritations, that can be overcome or sorted out, rather than monumental cock-ups that that are really going to cause significant discourse, although the whole moving around the showground (transport & security) does seem a little over engineered, and they do have some pretty rigid rules on everything from dogs, to the length of camera lens you're allowed to bring in. You are apparently allowed to bring suntan lotion though - somebody asked on facebook! Perhaps this is the American lawsuit culture coming into play.
The Australian team's horses' travel woes are, of course, a different matter and outside any event organiser's control, and I noticed today that some of the Australian Equestrian Press are all over that.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, the Americans really do know how to put on a show, and from what I can currently see from afar, this really does look like it will be one heck of a show. The one thing that has never failed to amaze me is the "souvenir hunting" that goes on after events like this. The moment cross country has finished at Badminton, I've seen people nicking fence signs, the rolex clock, and even attempting to walk off with some of the carved fence decorations or the flags, and you'd be surprised who some of the perpetrators are. Looking through gallery upon gallery of photos from the WEG build up, I can imagine there'll be plenty of attempts to acquire, supposedly "unwanted" items as mementos - no wonder they're making everyone park miles away from the showground. If it ain't bolted down it's there for the taking......
For those "souvenir hunters" amongst you here's a few of the better photos I've found so far:
2010 Radio Show
A German Blog
What's your favourite souvenir?