A sumo wrestler statue that was a part of the equestrian show jumping event at the Tokyo Games on Wednesday was removed.
What happened: Many equestrian riders for the show jumping event that took place on Wednesday felt that the sumo wrestler statue on fence number 10 was scaring the horses, ESPN reported.
- The statue in question was a realistic piece of a rikishi wrestler that was placed on the course by the designer Santiago Varela.
- Riders had a lot to say about the sumo wrestler being on the course and noticed that horses were “spooked” by the statue, which could have cost riders the chance of going to the finals.
- Harry Charles from Great Britain said, “As you come around, you see a big guy’s [butt].”
- Cian O’Connor from Ireland echoed Charles’ sentiment saying, “There’s a lot to look at.”
- Teddy Vlock from Israel commented on how the statue could have affected the horses, stating, “You know, horses don’t want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, looking like he’s ready to fight you.”
- Britain’s Ben Maher won gold at this event on Wednesday, despite the sumo wrestler being on the course.
- The fences on the courses are all inspired by different aspects of Japan.
The removal: The sumo wrestler statue was removed from the courses on Friday, according to HuffPost.
- Varela claims that he was planning on removing the statue for the team competition before the riders criticized the sumo wrestler.
- However, he doesn’t believe that the statue was the reason for riders not making it to the finals stating, “I think this is an artificial discussion. I believe that someone goes to the media to say things that are not true, directly and simply. Horses have jumped very well in the arena.”
- Fences on the jumping courses are switched out after each event. The fences are being replaced with new Japanese-themed fences containing a life-sized samurai and jumbo sushi.
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