Go behind the scenes at the 2020 Olympic equestrian dressage competition
Text and photos by Diana De Rosa
The equestrian competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is the ninth I’ve covered—and it’s different from any other. By now you know all about the Games’ postponement from 2020 to 2021, the absence of cheering fans in the stands, and the severe restrictions imposed on the athletes, officials, media, and others, in an attempt to control the spread of COVID-19.
These unprecedented events have made for some unusual sights here in Tokyo, but the dressage, eventing, and jumping competitions have gone on, and they’ve produced some memorable moments, both on the “field of play” and behind the scenes. Enjoy this visual postcard with a look at some of the unique scenes that didn’t make it into the TV and streaming broadcasts.
At the Venue
The COVID Effects
It was sad that no spectators were allowed, but the truth was that it meant that no accredited media personnel were denied entrance to the venues because of pandemic-related occupancy limits—which is what organizers originally thought they would have to do—because we could spread out into the areas where the spectators should have been. Here’s a look at some of the other photographers and a peek at those empty seats at the main equestrian venue, Baji Koen Equestrian Park, where the dressage competition was held.
Getting Around Tokyo
The Glamorous Life of Equestrian Media
Although we weren’t allowed to wander the city because of pandemic restrictions, my hotel was in the center of a very New York City-type area, with buildings and stores everywhere. So, on our march to the buses, day and night, we were able to catch some of the flavor of Japan’s biggest city.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look behind the scenes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Congratulations to Team USA on your dressage silver medal!
You don’t have to be a breeder to compete with your horse in the USDF Breeders Championship Series! Anyone with a young horse, or a mature mare or stallion, should consider the benefits of competing with their horse in-hand.
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