Day 15 – It’s On Like Donkey Kong

Apollo Anton Ohno’s Skates…will they glide again? Is that a conflict of interests with the USA on the sock and the Maple Leaf on the blade???

Crash in turn 4 that DQ’d Ohno.

Smiling afterwards…

(Photos by Donald Miralle)

After a late but great night at the Women’s Free Skate Final, I slept in until 11:30 since we had the morning off and didn’t have to be anywhere until early afternoon. It was the best seven hours of slept I’ve had in about a week, and it felt great not to wake up and have that panicky feeling that I was already late for something.

These short track athletes aren’t too far from roller derby girls…Maybe a sport for London 2012?

Growing trees post crash.

Canadians celebrate Ohno’s disqualification.

(Photos by Donald Miralle)

After catching a cup of coffee at the Starbucks in our hotel with my buddy Mike Powell, I finished my final edit on the ridiculous hose down session (over 30 gigabytes!) I had at the ice skating the night before. I’m still not used to the frame speed and file size of the Canon Mark IV Camera, which seems to suck up 4 and 8 GB cards like it’s going out of style. Given most of the shots were blank frames fired on the two overhead remote cameras and I had sent the strongest frames the night before, it was fairly easy to sift through the rest for seconds and stock. But all these photos take up a lot of hard drive space, and since I was down to my last couple gigs on my MacPro Powerbook, I needed to hunt down a second external harddrive for the remainder of the Olympics before shooting Apollo Anton Ohno at the Short Track Speedskating later that night. Luckily for me, there was a Mac Store just a block away with 500GB Lacie Rugged external harddrives, which I especially liked because they looked so cool with the orange rubberized shell. After purchase of the HD and some Chinese food to go, I caught a cab to the Pacific Coliseum, home of Short Track Speed Skating.

Speedskating legend Dan Jansen looks on with disgust after the lack of gold medals by the American Team and the Media from the USA yelling at volunteers.

Canadian Gold Medal Winner in the 500M shows some love post race.

China gold  once again in speedskating

While the American managed a silver. (Photos by Donald Miralle)

After spending literally 18 hours at the building the day before, I felt like I had never left, but this time I walked in with an hour to spare before the competition rather than twelve. After seeing that all the ice level positions had been taken, Photo Marshal Dave Bustin and Matt Stockman of Getty pointed out that there was a good overhead position that was probably still available. It was above turn two, which was great for react after the finish line as well as catching crashed diagonally in the dangerous turn 4. I quickly unloaded my gear out of my pack, dumped it in my locker, and shuffle over to the stadium seating. Lucky for me there were open seats and I was in the good company of Robert Gauthier of the LA Times, John Lok of the Seattle Times, David Phillip of AP, Koji Aoki of AFLO, and Jasper Julien of Getty. The seats were a bit more on the coach side than business class with the leg room, which flustered Julien who had much longer legs than me with his 6ft+ frame. After we all got comfortable and figured out our exposures and what glass we were going to use to shoot, we were ready for some good ‘ole racing.

The Korean Team showing respect after their silver in the relay.

The American relay team huddles around Ohno after his 8th and possibly final Olympic Medal.

(Photos by Donald Miralle)

I practiced some pans and warmed up on practice and the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the Men’s 500M and Women’s 100M. As usual, Apollo Anton Ohno of the USA made some late surges in both of the races to make his way into the 4 man final, where he had a 75% chance of winning his 8th Olympic medal. In the final, he hovered in the back of the pack and on the last lap going into turn three had his hand on the hip of the third place Canadian, who consequently lost his edge, knocked out the Korean and hit the wall. Crash in turn 4!!! Ohno was DQ’d, missed out on the podium and had to settle for a bronze in the relay, which was won in exciting style by the Canadians.

Team Canada Bites their gold medals (with the exception of Rob Zombie/bad guy from Matrix 3)

After I left the arena following the flower ceremony, I took a cab straight to Canada Hockey Place to set up my remotes for the USA v Canada game. Since I was heading back up to Whistler to shoot my last Alpine assignment and grab all my skiing gear up there, I had to hang and set my remotes for the big game a couple days before to just leave them up there on sleep. By the time I finished with that with the help of Photo Marshall Richard Lam, who was very flexible with his schedule for me, it was nearly midnight and grabbed my a bag of clothes from my hotel and the last bus up to Whistler. By the time I arrived at the Whistler hotel, it was almost 2:30am and I had to be up at 6am to shoot the Men’s Slalom Final. I am totally running on empty at this point the only thing that’s keeping me going is knowing that the big game is on Sunday and after that I am done and get to go home! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the last couple days here with me…

Comments

  1. Hey Donald. Thanks for a great blog. You are being read rest assured! Regarding your “hosing” of the ice skating maybe you need this Tshirt.
    http://www.cafepress.com/wtdsprayandpray
    I have a client who thinks its hilarious when I refer to hosing the commission for her (I’m a dance photographer) so this gets worn specially for her.
    Have a good sleep. Thanks again for some great photography.
    Patrick Baldwin

  2. Evan Smith says:

    I was wondering how you know and if you can substantiate with facts that Dan Jensen was actually disgusted, or is that your unbiased journalistic view? He doesn’t look disgusted to me at all. If anything he looks bored.

    I also don’t understand the rest of your caption. Who was yelling at volunteers, the media or Dan, and what were they yelling and why?

    • Hey Evan – I apologize for the ambiguous caption on the Dan Jansen photo. I usually never try to read into a person’s thoughts or feeling when captioning a photo, but was rather just referring to an incident that happened minutes before the photo was take. Without pointing fingers or dropping any names (that’s not what this blog is for and you may know him) an American photographer verbally abused a VANOC volunteer with four letter expletives when she was just trying to do her job, which was keeping the isle cleared of Japanese photographers who were supposed to be seated in designated spots not blocking isles and making themselves fire hazards. After the unnamed photog dropped a couple f-bombs at the volunteer when she asked him if he could move and make room for the foreign photogs, Dan Jansen and his wife who were trying to enjoy the competition stopped what they were doing turned around with a look of disgust and shook their heads. I know the photographer was angry because he was doing his job and the volunteer was asking him to move while he was shooting which may cause him to miss a photo. But professional photographers need to act professionally especially when working around other members of the media, high profile people and even the general public because you are representing all of us with credentials around our neck and cameras in our hand. He could have diffused the situation by just saying he would move and make room when the competition, which only lasts a couple minutes, was over. Instead he berated a person who is volunteering her own time, used explicit language in front of families, children and one of the greatest winter olympians of all time, who probably all unfortunately think that photographers are rude people now.

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