Canada could be a sleeper

An Outsports reader from Canada asked if we were ever going to mention his country. As of today, the Maple Leaf Nation has yet to win a medal. Even Togo has won a medal. But Canada came up big-time on the Oxygen broadcast of show jumping today.This was the qualifying round, where horses and riders have to show the organizers that they know what a grand-prix jump course is about. So many new countries are entering equestrian sport that everybody wants to make sure they're experienced enough to compete. The 550-meter course was beautiful - very Chinese, with jumps that incorporate a fan shape or moon bridge, and two dragons flanking one vertical - all of them just tricky enough to make a horse pay attention.

The commentators had this to say: "You can never count Canada out in show jumping. This year, Canada could be a sleeper."

They went on to discuss that old-timer Ian Millar is back - his 9th Olympics, and he has never won a medal yet, so the law of averages is on his side now. Eric Lamaze is close to the top on the world riders' ranking, having conquered his demons of substance abuse. The talented rookie is Jill Henselwood, riding Special Ed -- the commentators had good things to say about her. All three looked good in their rounds. The Maple Leaf may be about to fall on Beijing.

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