Day 14 Part Un – An Olympic Travesty

Every Winter Olympics one of the biggest tickets is always the Women’s Free Skate Final. While fans must pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to secure this hot ticket, we accreditated photographers must show up to the venue at 4am on, place our bags in line and hope we can get one of the 36 ice spots alloted to us. If you’re 37, you’re screwed. It doesn’t matter if you work for the New York Times, Ice Skating Journal, Kyoto News, or Newsweek, if you’re not in the Olympic pool it’s a complete free for all and cluster f*@#k to get a position. Today was no exception, as some members of the media either slept over at Pacific Coliseum after the speed skating last night, or arrived from 3am to cue up and sit in line. We arrived at 6:30am and were #32 out of 37, now have to wait and babysit our position until 2pm when the arm bands are given out, and the competition doesn’t even stat until 5pm. It’s a complete travesty that we have to be treated like adolescents waiting for concert tickets, miss an entire day of Olympic coverage (hello USA v Canada women’s gold medal game is today!), and are not even guaranteed a position. The IOC and the Host Organizing Committee has to come up with a better system than the current one or lack there of. Someone needs to step up and either prioritize the photographers interested in covering this event, make a sign up sheet with ticketed shooting areas as they do for other events, or just do a lottery. Something needs to be done so we don’t have another slumber party in the media center the night before the Figure Skating Final. I apologize for the diatribe, but the current situation is just a ridiculous waste of time and a lampoonery for the photographers, for the photo marshalls, for volunteers and everyone involved.

Koji Aoki of AFLO sleeps in Media Center after arriving at 3:45am to get a spot…

Head Photo Marshall of the Pacific Coliseum Chuck Stoody stands at beginning of the line of bags to get a photo position. This cue snaked around the photo work room…

Asleep at the wheel, with 6 hours to go.


  1. Ronald Fleurbaaij says:

    And I thought a 4-5 hour wait for a Premier League soccer match was alot…

  2. I’m going to make sure all my students, and anyone thinking being a photographer is a cake walk, reads this. I tell them about some of the “crap” parts of this job but don’t think they believe me.
    Who are the pool shooters? AP, Getty, AFP, IOC?

    Thanks again for all the great behind-the scene post!


  3. Excellent post. A ridiculous waste of time.

  4. Hi Donald,

    No need for an apology for this diatribe, you are just stating facts, I have seen the same thing on a much smaller scale and that royally pissed me off.

    The thing that gets me is that they expect you to be creative after your “slumber party” and wasting a whole day there, just waiting.

    I also agree with Bryan that everyone should read this who thinks being a photographer is a cake walk. This could be a good seminar for Photo Expo or SportsShooter.

    BTW, as always your stuff is great. I look forward to seeing what you come up with this evening.

    Take care and good luck,

    • Thanks for the comments guys…this was a joke and even though some think this is a whining post it is hopefully going towards fixing the problem. At any rate thanks for reading and commenting and only a couple days left!!!

  5. You know if your images weren’t so bad ass, I’d almost like your commentery more…. They treated you guys like kids in line at Walmart the night before a new Playstation comes out!

  6. I was really surprised to see only 6 pool photographers out on the ice for the award ceremony.

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