Friday, August 03, 2012

2012 London Olympics: Day Six

After spending four days in a row without leaving the USA Today offices at the main press center, I was finally able to get out and check out some of the venues around London.  I was tasked with assisting one of the staff photographers at the men and women's individual all-around final.

What that role involves is simple.  Grab memory cards from the photographer in each rotation, and edit them and transmit them back to the office and our various clients as quickly as possible.  Now admittedly, for the first day of gymnastics I went to, I didn't bother bringing a camera.  I didn't think I would have enough time between rotations to edit and then shoot some.  Plus I was working with a staff member who I have never worked with, and I didn't want him to think that I wasn't being a team player and doing my job.  That said, all that ended up not being an issue so when the ladies event rolled around, I came with a D4 and a 70-200 and ready to shoot some.

With two Americans considered medal contenders, photo positions following Team USA would be pretty scarce.  So in addition to my role of editing photos on site, I also "squatted" on the prime photo positions for the next rotation and shot some of the athletes on those events.  I started off at the uneven bars but only got time for one athlete before moving along...

Then shifted over to the beam and got as head on as I could.  I was really hoping that one of the athletes would lay down on the beam facing and look up... one of the Chinese competitors sort of did that but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. 

After the Americans finished up on the uneven bars, my colleague took my spot on the beam so that I could go back and edit his cards.  I toned those up and sent them away quickly so that I could make my way over to shoot the Americans on the beam from the side.  It's pretty impressive from this angle as well, as you can see how high these athletes get as well as how ridiculously flexible they are.

After editing all the pictures on the beam, there was one more apparatus to go before the winners were announced.  So I made my way back out to the field of play and found my colleague, and made sure I was on the opposite side of him with a view of the American team and coaches.  Gabrielle Douglas was named the winner and gold medalist, and the spot I ended up turned out to be great for the reaction and celebration.

Day seven brings another day in the office.... but I might be going out to judo in the late morning/early afternoon.  We'll see!


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