Out equestrian Carl Hester brought home the gold for Great Britain today, as part of the UK dressage team with Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin. Hester called the victory “a very special moment,” as it marked the first time in seven consecutive Olympics that Germany didn’t take the gold in this event, a streak dating back to the Los Angeles Games in 1984.
“Standing on the podium was the proudest moment of my life.” he blogged on his website. “What a great day for dressage. Seeing the sea of flags and watching the union flag raised and hearing all the cheers and the national anthem was very emotional.
This marks the first Olympic medal for Hester, 45, who has won 51 national domestic dressage titles and gold and silver at the 2011 European Championships.
Romney will be thrilled.
Good for him, and I’m sure this “sport” is enjoyable and all, but it’s just a tragedy that it keeps out such deserving events as roller skating, baseball, softball, and squash. The closest thing to athletes this sport has are the horses, and even they pale in comparison to racing thoroughbreds.
@Kevin Dressage is an extremely hard sport. It takes mental and physical determination. The horse is not doing all of the work. Without the rider the horse would not know what to do. It is the rider who trains the horse to perform difficult maneuvers. I’m seventeen I have been riding since i was five and i could never do anything that these amazing riders can do
This is the dumbest thing ever.
@Sean: What is so dumb about dressage? Especially when an openly gay man is the champion. If you have better skills in dressage, I’m pretty sure you you are in Olympics already. But you are not, so just keep your hatred to yourself.
This is part of what, to me, makes the Olympics worth watching any of at all: obscure, off-the-wall activities that nonetheless usually have long histories, and which are fascinating for a couple hours every few years but not compelling enough to care about seasonally.
@Kevin: Roller skating, Baseball and Softball are equally as invalid “Sports” as Dressage.
One of the things that is being missed in the discussion about Dressage is that it is -like all the equestrian sports – definitively equality-minded. Men and women compete on the same terms; similarly age is no boundary – the youngest competitor is 21 (I think) while the oldest is 71. That openly gay men won gold and bronze in the team dressage event just reconfirms a commitment to equality that is lacking elsewhere in the Olympics.
That said – Yay for Carl Hester. WTG, man!.
Mitt Romney is livid that Rafalca, Ann’s dressage horse, was between by a gay man. He’s even more furious that British Tories are vowing to give that gay man equal rights.
It’s my personal belief that he won just to fuck over Mitt Romney and the horse he rode in on.
@dazzer: Sports are not about equality and equal rights. The very definition of sports is that the best man or woman wins. If you want to be the best in sports then just make sure you are better than anyone else.
On a rare positive note for Queerty, can I just thank the editorial staff for actually mentioning this. Other gay sites, such as Towleroad, Outsports and AfterElton, have shown themselves to be a notch down from NBC when it comes to gay visibility at the Olympics. It seems that if you’re not Mathew Mitcham (wonderful though he is), being an openly gay man winning a gold medal at the Olympics hardly rates a mention.
So again, Yay! for Edward Gal and Carl Hester. And Yay! for Queerty, too.
@Daez: don’t be obtuse. There are a whole range of countries in the world in which being an openly gay man would ensure that you’d never be chosed for the national team, even if you had demonstrated that you were 147 times better than the current world champion.
Also, if you don’t believe that discrimination doesn’t exist in sports, then have deep and meaningful discussions with the professional women’s tennis or golf organisations. Sport also includes equality of opportunity to take part – it’s not just the competition itself.
@Daez: sorry for calling you obtuse, Daez. It was uncalled for. I was just watching the dressage finals and my passions were getting ahead of me. Apologies.
so bad, I wanted Germany win. They are much better and hard workers than this lame British
@cray-cray: No matter what German racism still permeated the world us Brits have one chant that completely annuls anything Germans can say, it is quite simply.
“Two world wars and one world cup”
Check and mate.
@Neo: Oh man, no, no, no. Apart from the xenophobia in that comment, it’s also hubris. Team GB is just having a good time at the moment. But these things are cyclical. It’s like the Aussies – they’re having a bad time this Olympics, but if anyone thinks this represents the reality of Australian sports in the long run, then they’re morons. The Australians will learn from the Brits (in the same way that the Brits learnt a lot from the Aussies to change their attitude to sport), and they’ll rise again.
Don’t fall to cray-cray’s (incredibly) low level here, Neo. The Germans will learn from us (and pay all our coaches more money to defect to them – in exactly the same way as we stole so many German and Dutch coaches to come and work for us Brits – which has resulted in our medal haul this year), and they’ll get better next time round.
cray-cray is being witless, Neo. We don’t need to follow his example.
@dazzer: It does only count as witless if you’re taking the mick with spite as opposed to a hefty heaping of “bless”, I feel it is okay to let it slide this time.
@Neo: I’m a lackwit, aren’t I? Ho hum. I’ll be the guy in the carpark looking a bit wasted. I won’t bring charges if you kick me. (So long as you don’t trample my bag of crisps.)
@Kevin: Baseball and softball WERE in the Olympics but were removed by the IOC when it became clear that they weren’t very popular and weren’t truly international sports. I’m gonna pretend you didn’t just call rollerblading a sport. I agree with you on Squash.
Take that Ann Romney and your anti-LGBT pledge signing (that even Mitt didn’t sign), generous ass.
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