'Indian food must be eaten in India'

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'Indian food must be eaten in India'

Half Chinese and half Brit, Alex Hua Tian is the youngest Olympic equestrian from China. He took to riding when he was barely four years old and now 18 years later, he’s groomed enough to compete at the upcoming Olympic Games in 2012.

 “I love horses and there isn’t anything more that I would like to do. Competing on a world stage is not about fierce competition but about building a good camaraderie when it comes to equestrian riding. I have never felt the pressure, the game only fuels my energy further,” Alex tells Metrolife during his visit to the City recently.

Like any other youngster of his age, Alex too likes spending time with his friends and perhaps go partying. But riding comes first. Having trained in Britain for seven years by Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks, the world's top eventing riders, Alex will become the youngest rider in Olympic history if he qualifies. “I am not riding against my competitors but against the course. One good thing about this sport is that there’s great camaraderie on the field. People never run you down. Instead they lend a helping hand and there’s a great deal to learn from the older, more seasoned riders,” he says.

Alex says there’s a good amount of pressure and challenge involved at every step from training, spotting the right breed of horses to ensuring that they’re maintained and of course, dedicating time to train and practice. “I need the pressure to keep me going. It helps me go ahead. The one thing that I am particular about are the breed of horses. They must be thoroughbred,” he explains.

Alex has played some football at school and college but says he loves cricket and considers it the second best sport after his own. “I have been following the IPL and can’t believe how people go crazy over a sport. I am aware that it’s almost like a religion in India,” he says.

 Talking about Indian food, Alex says that this is his first visit to the country. “There are a couple of Indian restaurants in Britain and China but Indian food must be eaten in India, it loses its originality when it’s made elsewhere,” he signs off.

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