Day 17 – Golden Game

Corey Perry #24 of Team Canada waves the Canadian Flag after his team’s 3-2 sudden death overtime win over the USA in the Gold Medal Final of Men’s Hockey at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on February 28, 2010. (Photo by Donald Miralle)

It was the perfect ending to the Vancouver Olympics, and a game for the ages – the battle of the North American hockey superpowers Canada and USA, ending in an overtime golden goal by Sidney Crosby of Team Canada after an equalizer by Team USA with 25 seconds left in regulation. It may sound weird, especially after I spent $150 loonies on a official USA hockey jersey at the stadium prior to the game, but I was actually very happy for Canada that they won. They deserved it. They came back from the upset we served them last week and played a composed game, dictating most of the flow of the match. As the host country, they not only put on a great show for the world but captured the most gold medals out of any country. For 17 days the streets in downtown Vancouver and Whistler have been filled by people chanting “Go Canada!” And tonight will be no different, with a mob like scene ensuing following the game. There are very few countries where every pub and bar in the city will have a line of patrons winding around the block at 7am waiting for the doors to open so they can cheer on their team.

Chang Lee of the New York TImes sets up a remote camera against the backboards before the start of the game.

Hockey Guru Bruce Bennett and Super-Tech Jono Powell of Getty Images ice level before the start of the game.

The view from my seat and my ticket. I heard the tickets were going for 5K loonies. Thanks to Mark Starr for securing the hard to get ticket.

(Photos by Donald Miralle)

I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this Olympic games and the variety of events, experiences and people I met along the way. I am glad to have been able to share it with you and the other photographers and friends who helped me along the way. Big thanks to Al Bello, Mike Powell, Rich Glass, Mark Starr, Doug Pensinger, Bob Frid, Heinz Klutzmeier, Matt Stockman, Bob Deutch and everyone else who gave me a boost, advice on a venue, a place to lie my head, a ride in their car, a lens to borrow, or just a good time when I needed one. And a very special thanks to my wife Lauren who has patiently been holding up the fort and taking care of our little boys Luke and Micah and our dogs Odie and Frank during this Olympics and the five others I have been fortunate to cover. And thanks to everyone who read this blog, posted words of encouragement and support; without you I wouldn’t have started this blog and wouldn’t have been able to see it through. As I write this there is a nonstop cacophony of  horns and screaming coming from the streets that will probably not stop until I have to drive to the airport at 5am. Guess I will have to sleep when I get back Cali…see you later.

Canadian Goaltender Roberto Luongo enters the game.

Luongo makes a save during the game

Eric Staal #21 of Canada is checked by Ryan Malone #12 of the USA.

National hero Sydney Crosby #87 of Canada controls the puck. Not too many guys get to win the Stanley Cup and the Olympic Gold Medal in the same season.

Sydney Crosby of Canada scores the golden goal against clutch keeper Ryan Miller #39 of the USA.

Crosby is mobbed by teammate as Team USA skates off.

Luongo joins the celebration

The fans like it…

Sydney Cosby waves the Maple Leaf around the ice.

Fireworks after the medals are given out

Team Canada, Gold Medalist Men’s Ice Hockey

(Photos by Donald Miralle)


  1. Greatest set of photos coming out of Vancouver! These are incredible! Along with your recaps, your photos enthralled and kept me interested. I’d check here before anywhere else. Thanks Mr. Miralle!!

  2. Thanks for taking us to the Olympics with you Donald. I love that photo of Luongo.

  3. Hi,

    I’ve read most of your post, and thank you for sharing all that, I’ve been enthusiastic about Olympic games and about the pictures and the behind the scene life in Vancouver.
    Great shots as well.
    Thanks for sharing and have some good rest.

  4. J.Rodgers says:

    Simply fantastic blog from start to finish! Can’t wait to see the wrap.

  5. The flag photo is just gorgeous, enjoyed your work in Vancouver…

  6. Thank you for your great blog, it was very insightful and interesting. Thanks for sharing a bit of your professional life for us, you inspire many photographers. The images you posted are incredible.

  7. Chris Hanewinckel says:

    I have enjoyed following your blog and reading your words throughout the Olympics. You have given a great insight into the profession and shared some of the ups and downs that go with it. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences and thoughts. There is a lot I can learn from you. Welcome back to San Diego. Enjoy the sleep.
    Thanks again

  8. cmannphoto says:

    Donald, Donald, Donald…..
    You and your remotes!!! I know you said that you don’t count on them, but it seems they are in the right place and “working” at the right times. I have enjoyed the blog and I am always amazed at your work. Definitely, an inspiration to me and countless others.

    Hopefully you got a couple days off.


    • Hey Charlie – Glad you enjoyed and yes, I always consider the remotes a secondary camera and the ones in my hands as primary. You hope remotes work but you can’t worry about them all game or you won’t get anything even with the handheld cameras. Usually it’s a 50-50, but for whatever reason (maybe lack of TV RF camera interference, they fired 100% of the time, and that seemed to be the concensus of most of the photogs covering the games. Planning to take most of the month off now to decompress, hang out with the fam, and try to get back in shape…

      • cmannphoto says:


        I have always been amazed at your ability to find unique angles for your subjects you cover both with your remotes and handhelds. Unlike some sports photographers (no offense), who have assistants firing remotes for them, you do all this yourself. You are almost like the Hindus god “Durga” with multiple arms each with various cameras/lenses, Pocketwizards, Iphone and who knows what else.

        The more I think about it you have to be a “GOD” or the “Photo gods” are really looking after you. Setting up remotes 48 hours in advance shooting an entire hockey game, that went into overtime, and your remotes are still working at the end??? And to remember to fire the remote to capture the great shot of the flag with everything else going on, WOW!!!

        Yet, you are a nice guy, easily approachable (except in a scrum maybe), willing to share and educated other photographers, to that I thank you.

        I have greatly enjoyed your blog and look forward to your next adventure.


      • Thanks for the flattering words, but I’m just a mere mortal and a normal dude who works hard and gets lucky every now and then…

  9. Rick Hall says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your blog Donald! Great shots and perspective. Thanks for letting us be a part of the Olympics!

  10. Good stuff as always, now go sleep 🙂 You’ve earned at least one full night’s rest!

  11. Excellent as usual Donald, loved your coverage and please keep updating the blog in the future!

  12. Dan Powers says:

    Wow…what an awesome set of images. Geez Donald, how many remotes did you have set up? I would love to know how such an elaborate set up worked for you. Great stuff…Dan.

    • I only had two remotes I set up in the catwalk about 48 hours beforehand and put to sleep until the game started to save battery. One was a looser setup with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm lens set at about 50mm. Since the 5d had a large full frame file, it allowed me to go looser with the composition and crop. The second setup was a Canon Mark III with the new 70-200mm lens set at about 70mm. Super clamps, Monfrotto ballheads, magic arms, safety cables, and pocket wizards on separate custom channels were used on each. They were set above each goal with extra compositional space to fit in Olympic logo in and to hopefully fit entire team in of they rushed goalie at end. My favorite frame was the shot with the flag at the end of the game, which was not what I was expecting but luckily remembered to keep on firing the remote as the post game celebration started. But sometimes nice surprises happen in photography when luck meets preparation…

      • Dan Powers says:

        Well, now you got me all fired up to break out the remotes again! Hey, it was nice bumping (literally) into you in the Super Bowl scrum at the end of the game. I was the guy who said…”Hey…we met when you spoke at the Wisconsin News Photographers convention. And now I have your head in my photo! My timing to strike up conversation is not always the best…;0) Anyways…superb work as always!

      • Btw, I just saw that Heinz Kluetmeier is speaking at your Wisconsin News Photographers Convention on March 13th. Heinz is a living legend and the WNPA puts on a first class show as I experienced in person a couple years ago. If you are anywhere in the area you should check this out:

      • Haha, that’s classic! It’s always hard to chat in those scrums…

  13. Thank you very much for your blog throughout the Olympics and your blogg in general. It is great getting a better understanding of the behind the scenes look at covering the Olympics and other events.

    Thanks again.

  14. Don great work on the blog, with the time difference to here in Aus, it was great to read first thing of morning and to then be inspired for the day ahead

    Look forward to reading future blogs once you return to Cali

    You should look at setting up feedburner to help send your blog out via email to your readers, shoot me an email if you want some more info

    From the land down under

  15. Carleton Sage says:

    Totally loved the blog! See you soon!

  16. I still can’t believe Getty didn’t try to kidnap you when you told them you’d like to go freelance. lol Thanks again for making these posts. Your blog will continue to grow big time if you keep making these posts. I’m also very happy you’re taking the next month off to take care of your family and yourself. You’re inspirational on all counts!

  17. Thanks again for all the kind words and support! It sounds like this blog has an audience so I will continue to post cool assignments, stories and updates regularly…

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