So...yesterday was a big day up at Cypress. The Snowboard halfpipe competition was going on and it seemed like every Olympic photographer was crammed into a very small shooting area to capture images of the athletes, but mostly to grab images of Shaun White. I arrived at 3pm for the 7pm competition and still had to fight for a good spot. You know that the means, right? No moving around, no bathroom breaks, no food, and really cold! But, the photo opportunities kept me warm. Damn - this was a fun sport to shoot! It was equally difficult to photograph, trying to keep the snowboarders in focus while they shoot up one side to the other. I shot more than 60GB of RAW images yesterday. Yikes!
Here is Shaun White on one of his practice runs. The photographer next to me asked me who I was shooting for, and I replied "my son". Since I am really shooting for Team USA Hockey, this was not an event that I had to shoot, but something I promised Connor I would shoot for him.
Here is a wide shot of the pipe. This is looking straight up from down at the bottom. All of us photographers were baffled by the fact that there are no giant Olympic rings at the top. That would have made a really nice backdrop for this venue.
Some of the fans cheering for USA and Shawn White. Anyone recognize these people? This is the Simmons family (good friends from the Bay Area) who were up for a couple of days.
And some other people enjoying the day. I saw these people while up in the stands visiting Michelle and her family and could not resist taking their picture.
And when he got down to the bottom of the pipe, he knew that he nailed it. Nobody even came close to catching his first run.
He went over to his mother and gave her the flowers from the ceremony. You could just see how proud his mom and dad were. Very cool stuff!
Now for some of the behind-the-scenes stuff:
This was not the easiest venue to work. The press bus lets us off about 1/4 mile from the press center, and then, once you get to the press center, you (and everyone else) has to climb 300 steps to the stands. There is no way that an older or out of shape person could go to this event. Then, once I made the climb (with a 600mm lens which weighs about 12 bulky pounds), I found out that the only restrooms where at the bottom of the steps. Who the hell planned this place?
The pipe was in great condition but the venue itself was very strange. We were all positioned in front of an ugly prefab building which was right at the bottom of the pipe. this meant that the spectators could not see the athlete at the end of the run. All they saw was the fiberglass walls of this shack. So weird!
Oh well...at least I got some cool shots! Now I am back at Canada Hockey Place (CHP) to shoot two more games. Look for those images next.
Oh - and Connor - I hope you like the shots!!!