Day 9 – Flying High

Anders Jacobsen of Norway soars on the Large Hill on day 9 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Ski Jumping Stadium on February 20, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. Remote shot with 24-70mm and Canon Mark III. (Photo by Donald Miralle) 

After refueling my tanks with a much needed day off, I was amped and eager to get out and shoot again. Today I had an exciting schedule lined up: Men’s Large Hill Ski Jumping followed by the Men’s 30km Pursuit Cross Country. Although the Nordic Sports aren’t very mainstream in the US, the are huge in Europe where people watch cross country, biathlon, and ski jumping like we watch baseball or basketball.

Andreas Wank of Germany soars off the Large Hill on the final jump on day 9 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Ski Jumping Stadium on February 20, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. Shot with a handheld 500/f4. Canon Mark III, at1/60 of sec F14 ISO 50. (Photo by Donald Miralle) 

I have always been fond of shooting the Ski Jumping – not only is it an amazing sport that takes some serious cahones, but it is very photogenic with bird like men flying through the air with speed and grace in skis. The venue photo manager was Porter Binks, a freelance photo editor who worked with Sports Illustrated for years. He and his staff couldn’t be more helpful, had some great photo positions, and probably ran the best venue I had visited at these games. After shooting a couple of different artsy pan shots with long and short lenses, I moved to the pool spot under the kicker to get the more scenic shot of the athletes flying over the mountains. I set up a remote to shoot a static shot and back up what I was shooting with my in hand camera, which I mixed up lens selection between a 14mm and 16-35 lens. 

Vincent Descombes Sevoie of France #12 launches off the rings. Shot with 14mm and Canon 5d Mark IIfor full-frame but only two frames a second so it was mostly miss on this one…

Getty Chief Photographer and good friend Al Bello setting up a remote camera under the jump and considering doing some P90X reps.

General view of the finish line…(Photos by Donald Miralle)

I was quite happy with what I captured, quickly packed my cameras, and hauled ass over to the Cross Country which was just down the road, and got there about mid race. Since I was late to the race I decided to scrap shooting track action and just worked my way to the finish line. The 30km is a great race with the athletes having to complete the first 4 laps of the course in classic style, change skis, and complete the last four laps in freestyle. These guys are gnarly athletes, with crazy cardio and fitness regiments that get them to be fine turned machines. Marcus Hellner of Sweden powered away from his rivals in the home stretch to claim gold, making for an exciting finish and photo.

David Hofer of Italy climbs a hill during the Men’s 30km Pursuit Cross Country Race.

Marcus Hellner of Sweden is ecstatic as he crossed the finish line for gold. 

More Hellner…

The 30km event takes it’s toll.

Finish line scene…(Photo by Donald Miralle)
After getting back from the course, I quickly packed my bags and went down the hill to Vancouver to prepare to cover the big USA v Canada Men’s hockey game the nest day…Go USA!!!


  1. sorry – wrong link

  2. Beautiful, Donald! I like that the title for your days are starting to reflect both the events and yourself 🙂

  3. Thanks for making these posts. It can’t be easy to shoot all day, transmit to your clients, and then organize your thoughts and work for this blog. I can’t wait to see your images from that thrilling Canada vs USA hockey match! And OMG Porter Binks is not longer on staff at SI !!!

  4. P90x Baby!!. It’s Muscle Confusion!! Seriously my friend, great pics. Always master class watching you work.

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