Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Winter Olympics in Beijing - Going from bad to worse!

It wasn't that long ago that I was photographing the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and I thought that those Olympics were going to be the hardest ever to cover. Leading up to the Games, there were months of uncertainty and an endless list of Covid restrictions that loomed in front of all of us going, and I thought "well...at least it can only get better from here". I think I got a little ahead of myself on that one.

These upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing are proving to be WAY more of a challenge than I (or probably most other people) expected. 

As I mentioned in a blog post back in October, my flight to Beijing had been cancelled by United Airlines and they were cancelling all flights to China with no other options for me. Since that time, NOTHING has gotten better. At this point I still do not have a flight to Beijing, I have no housing lined up, and I have no contract in place. In a typical Olympic situation, all of this would be locked in about one year from the Games. Today we are 44 days away from the Opening Ceremony and the only thing in place is my credentials. And those won't do me a lot of good if I am not there.

Ever since 2010 I have been the official photographer for USA Hockey at each winter Olympics. And now. to make matters even worse, it appears that the NHL is going to restrict any of their athletes from competing in Beijing. Rumor has it that the official announcement will be made tomorrow. This is a major blow to the sport and the athletes who have been dreaming of competing at the Olympics. It also means that we would have to scrap together a team with very little notice.

Don't get me wrong, I know that the health and safety of the athletes, support staff, and others is paramount. But my question now is: "Now what?"

Oh, one more thing. Did I mention that China has been doing their Covid testing using ANAL swabs? Remember, we are going to have to do Covid testing every day! Up until last month, the Chinese had planned on testing us rectally, but the IOC pushed back on that and this has now been changed to a nasal swab. Good lord!

I am supposed to leaving for the Winter Olympics in about 5 weeks, and at this point, I have almost all questions and very few answers. 

* How will I get there?

* Where will I stay in Beijing?

* Who will I be photographing there?

* Will I even go?

I have left messages for my contacts at USA Hockey and the USOPC, but I am sure they are extremely busy trying to figure all this out for all of us.

Stay tuned!


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1 comment:

OnlyInCA said...

OMG!!! Are you sure you even WANT to go given all those issues???
Catherine D