I arrived at the Pacific Coliseum yesterday evening with much anticipation for short tracking speed skating. I have seen this on television and wondered what it would be like in person. I can tell you this, I was not disappointed. I got a photo position right up against the mats on the ice (after being delayed for 30 minutes...long story) and had a great vantage point. They literally assign you to a standing spot, by number, and that is your home for the night. No moving around, which means no food breaks, no sitting down and no bathroom breaks. One must be prepared for this photo gig.
This sport moves really fast and the competition is fierce. It is a blast to watch these skaters jockey for position as they carve themselves around the turns. Would I shoot this again? You betcha! And the best part was that the last event was a medal race where the USA athletes took silver and bronze. Apolo Anton Ono and J.R. Celski ended getting medals when the two Korean skaters took each other out on the last turn. Both were excited about the wins, but the smile on J.R.'s face was priceless!
That is Apolo peaking over the arm of the Canadian skater in second place.
This was shot during the relay trials. They do many transitions to the next skater and I happened to catch these two pairs at the same time. Cracks me up.
This is my favorite shot of the night, when the two American's celebrated together. Not expecting a medal, J.R. was absolutely ecstatic to get the bronze and that showed in his smile. This is what the Olympics is all about!