Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sing Along with the German Olympic Equestrian Teams!

The Olympic equestrian events are the heart and soul of German equestrianism. The nation has a stellar record of gold medals won in the three disciplines, and the embarrassment of having to surrender a gold medal because of a disqualification when a rider made an error entering the jumping course of the eventing in 2004.

Consider this: Germany is favored to win individual or team medals in all three disciplines. In dressage and show jumping, people wonder idly only about the metal of the medals, not the "if" factor.

Drumming up support for the well-organized and well-funded German team is not too hard to do, but the Germans went a few extra strides in the national pride department for this year's Olympics in Hong Kong.

At the Aachen World Equestrian Festival last month, the German Equestrian Federation released a music video of an official "team song". They found an ally in German rock star Joachim Witt, and resurrected his popular 1980s rock anthem "Goldenen Reiter", an ode to the beautiful golden equestrian statue in Dresden, Germany. Witt changed the words to apply to national pride in German riders who are "golden (medal) riders" for Hong Kong.

When it came time to record the voice track, the German riders were invited to the studio where they donned headphones and sang along with the very catchy chorus. Of course the entire process was filmed.

"You want us to sing?"  The riders seem a bit shy in the studio.

Most members of the German teams gathered in a Hamburg music studio this spring to make the video and record the song. The riders and coaches, from left to right: Marco Kutscher, Hans-Heinrich Engemann, Coach Hans Melzer, Dirk Schrade, Hinrich Romeike, Carola Koppelmann, Heike Kemmer, Nadine Capellmann, Klaus Husenbeth, German rock star Joachim Witt, Coach Holger Schmezer, Monica Theodorescu, Beeke Kaack, Bettina Hoy, Frank Ostholt and Andreas Dibowski. Yes, the biggest stars--Isabel Werth and the Beerbaums--were not there, although they are the stars of the video!

The German Federation has set up a separate web site for the song and the video, which is very much worth a click. You can also purchase the cd-rom. CLICK HERE to activate the video window.  (Sorry, I wasn't able to figure out how to embed code to mount the video right here in the blog.) The official web site for the song and video is

Be sure to turn the sound up on your computer! And don't worry about not understanding the words in German; they are basically saying "We are the golden riders and we are going to the Olympics to bring home the gold medals and glory for Germany. Look out, world!"

Look carefully at these German faces. You will be seeing a lot of them as the Games begin! Will they be golden riders in Hong Kong?

Thanks to the German Equestrian Federation for the great photos!

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