Behind the Scenes

Bevan Docherty prepares for today’s triathlon — 3:30 am

By JULIE JAG

jjag@santacruzsentinel.com

LONDON – Bevan Docherty learned something during his previous two Olympic campaigns, in which he collected a silver and a bronze medal:

Go for gold.

“Obviously, Olympic gold [is the goal this year],” Docherty said from his Westside Santa Cruz home shortly before leaving to compete in today’s Olympic men’s triathlon at Hyde Park. “I have to see how my training is going and adjust. I have to be smarter, more clever. It’s not going to be easy.”

Then again, easy isn’t really Docherty’s style. His biggest claims to fame in the sport include coming from behind to overtake Kris Gemmell in a 2007 International Triathlon Union World Cup race, diving for the photo-finish win and skidding several yards afterward during a 2009 ITU race and coming from behind to keep Lance Armstrong from winning the Panama 70.3 Ironman earlier this year.

Do something similar today, and could he be the first man to win three medals in the sport. Only he and Canada’s Simon Whitfield have medaled more than once since triathlon became an Olympic sport in 2000.

“It’s just another day at the office,” he said. “The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of pushing yourself. Fifteen to 20 minutes of pain is better than a lifetime of regret. You learn what your body can endure, what works best for you.”

This time around, though, Docherty, who won silver in 2004 and bronze in 2008, is a dad twice over. At 35, he’s also one of the oldest triathletes in the field. Also, unlike his previous Olympic bids, the No. 12-ranked triathlete in the world didn’t qualify for the New Zealand team until three months before the Games.

“I have to step up to the plate and be ready,” he said of today’s race. It starts at 11:30 a.m. BST [3:30 a.m. PDT] and will be aired live on NBC. “Each Olympics is different. There’s nothing familiar. There is a small advantage there [to having experience], but not that much of an advantage.”

It’s practically miniscule when compared to the advantage held by race favorites Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Not only does the flat course — 1.5 kilometer swim, 43k bike, 10k race, through their back yard suit the brothers, but they’re sure to be pushed on by thousands of screaming Brits.

Alistair, 24, reigns as the European Triathlon Union champion and won the Triathlon World Championship in 2009 and 2011. Jonathan, 22, is the current World Sprint Triathlon champion and the runner-up in the ITU World Triathlon Series.

“They’re already the strongest swimmers in the race and the fastest cyclists and the strongest runners,” said Matt Charbot of Aptos, a Team USA alternate who has competed against the Brownlees in several competitions. “If they have a fast race from the gun, they’re going to win it. If it’s a slow race from the gun, they’re still going to be in it.”

They will be challenged by Spain’s Javier Lopez, the current ETU champion, and by  2008 gold medalist Jan Frodeno of Gernany.

Charbot’s training partners at the Team USA training camp in Guildford, about an hour outside of London, won’t be among the chatter about medal winners, but they’re still in contention. Still, Manny Huerta showed grit just in getting to the Games. The Cuban immigrant placed ninth to claim the final qualifying spot at the U.S. trials in San Diego. Hunter Kemper, meanwhile, finished fifth at the trials to claim a ticket to his 0fourth Olympics.

Like Docherty, he’ll rely on experience to give method to the madness that is the Olympics.

“In 2000, 2004, he put a lot of pressure on himself. He felt the pressure of being a favorite,” said Team USA high performance manager Andy Schmitz. “In 2008, he embraced the experience. He walked in the opening ceremonies. Without putting that pressure on himself, he performed above his expectations. He likes being the underdog and being one of the oldest men in the race.”

Kemper, a 37-year-old father of three, is actually the second oldest behind Whitlock, also 37.

Docherty said his approach will be similar to Kemper’s. He’s going to enjoy himself while he’s here – he even walked in the opening ceremony — especially since this is likely his last Olympics.

“It feels like the biggest race of your life,” he said, speaking from experience. “It’s hard to keep the nerves at bay.”

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympics | Leave a comment

Olympic photos: Day 10, women’s marathon, the kindness of strangers and a soaking Tony

I should know better, I just should. BBC weather said it will be sunny and in the 70s on Sunday, but they lied. OK, so they didn’t lie, but their educated guess was off. By a lot.

I went to central London to shoot the women’s marathon and wanted to make sure I got there very early so I’d get a spot. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry so much because there weren’t that many spectators around until just before the race started and I was about 30 minutes from the start. But just as the starting bell went off, the sky opened up and dumped massive amounts of rain on all of us there waiting to watch the runners. I backed away from the barricades and stood under a ledge until more people started showing up and I had to regain my spot. It was still pouring.

At this point I put away my camera in my bag, which has a waterproof covering, until just before the women were due to arrive. I happened to be standing next to a nice British family that, like all Brits I’ve met, was extremely nice and eager to strike up a conversation with a Yank (though I think of Yanks as East Coasters). Charles, Caroline and Ruby kept me company as I got more and more soaked since I had no umbrella and no poncho. Every time I’ve seen a poncho for sale it’s been sunny, so I didn’t think to buy one. Stupid me. Charles was very helpful in keeping my spirits up and even snapped a photo of me …

Here I am, waiting in the rain for the women’s marathon. Aren’t the Olympics glorious? You can see me using my body to keep as much rain off my camera bag as possible.

That’s when a wonderful thing happened. Another Brit offered me his umbrella since he and his wife could share one. It was a wonderful gesture, but one I was about to decline when Charles took the umbrella and held it over me himself so I could use both hands to shoot photos. “You’re supporting the American press,” he told the stranger. “Well in that case …,” said the stranger as he playfully tried to take the umbrella back. So the first of three lap of the marathon were shot with Charles holding the umbrella over my lens in the pouring rain. I really love London. Surprises around every corner.

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How Swimming Photographers Make Their Underwater Moment – NYTimes.com

LONDON — As Al Bello struggles to wedge his lean body into his scuba gear, it appears that taking the photographs has to be the easy part.

How Swimming Photographers Make Their Underwater Moment – NYTimes.com.

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Olympics photos: Day 5

Today is all about those poor people who traveled all the way from the U.S. only to be denied tickets or access to the Olympic park.

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Americans denied Olympic tickets

By JULIE JAG
jjag@santacruzsentinel.com

LONDON — Pete and Leslie Haddad’s Olympic event, the ticket mad dash, began as soon as they stepped off the train in London.
Carting their 4-year-old son Jackson along in a stroller Monday afternoon, they raced past such historical landmarks as Big Ben, Westminster Abby and Trafalgar Square and headed straight for Horse Guards Parade, just steps from Buckingham Palace. They had less interest in seeing her majesty the Queen than the queens and kings of the court in an Olympic session of beach volleyball, which both Haddads play regularly at Main Beach.
They reached the finish line – a box office near the venue entrance – only to discover that, as Americans, they were disqualified before they even started. No Olympic tickets, at any price point, not even to events with unsold seats, have been made available for foreigners to purchase in London.
“It sucks,” said Leslie Haddad, summing up the feeling of a growing number of Americans and other tourists who have been left feeling stranded.
On Monday night, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, or LOCOG, released more than 3,000 tickets to the public in response to criticism that too many seats in the “sold out” venues went unoccupied. Jackie Brock-Doyle, the LOCOG communications director, said 3,800 tickets across 30 sessions in 15 sports were released .
However, all were distributed through the london2012.com website, which Americans and many other foreigners cannot access. They can’t stroll around the Olympic Park, either. Access is restricted to ticket holders of events held inside the park – which excludes those attending off-site events such as gymnastics, equestrian, judo, archery, fencing, boxing, soccer and volleyball – and to holders of Olympic Park tickets, which are also only available for sale to British residents.
“I feel really handcuffed, I can’t go anywhere,” said Kyle Dixon, who flew from Philadelphia to London with the hope of distributing T-shirts from his Aradii Wardrobe line — some of which feature the slogan “We Are Freedom” — to multi-national Olympics fans. “We really thought it would be easy. We thought getting into the park would be free. We didn’t expect what we got here.”
The policy of prohibiting access to the park strays from that of previous Olympics, according to Patti Mascetti of Bristol, Conn. This is Mascetti’s third Olympics — she attended the 1984 games in L.A. and ’96 in Atlanta — and she said she never has felt so shut out, nor had such a difficult time purchasing tickets during the Games.
“We still tried into 1:30 last night and got nothing,” Mascetti wrote in an email. “My group here wants to go to Olympic Park and ask for tickets [and] ask [to] put the response in YouTube [because] the stories are never the same… and we are obviously not in the right place or time to get any of the 3,000 tickets!”
Part of the problem is that the IOC distributes a limited number of tickets to each country’s National Organizing Committee. The NOCs then distributed them to their country’s residents, typically through third-party agencies. The agency for the United States and six other countries is CoSport, which has a London office but is only selling tickets online – where they have been sold out for months.
LOCOG’s Brock-Doyle said residents of the UK had been promised priority for these Games.
“We made a promise, as you know, at the very beginning [that] 75 percent of tickets would go to the British public. We also said, after we saw the demand, that if people had tickets they wanted to return, we would try to make sure British public had access to them. The box offices we have are primarily there to pick up tickets that have been bought online,” Brock-Doyle said. “We always said we wanted the British public to be in there and the demand from the British public has been so enormous that we will continue to drive any tickets that we get — any contingencies, any returns — directly to British public.”
When asked what course of action non-British tourists hoping to get into the Games should take, Brock-Doyle replied: “My suggestion would be to enjoy some of the great live sites that are out there, but we’re going to continue selling tickets to the British online.”
That’s just what the Haddads ended up doing. They had just a couple days in London after spending most of their time abroad in Bristol, where Pete, who works for Hewlett Packard, had been sent on a business trip he learned about three months ago, long after U.S. tickets sold out. So they took in the sights they’d rushed by in their hurry to find the box office, and they watched some of the Games on a jumbo screen set up at the Tower Bridge. If they wanted a live performance, they needed only to look over at little Jackson, who was practicing his pommel horse and floor routines and judo on the grass.
But Brock-Doyle’s advice didn’t sit well with many others who traveled thousands of miles and are paying beyond peak prices for lodging and foot to be here during the Olympics.
“There are empty seats and we have money and we want to pay, we want to get in. Instead we have to stand outside with our flags,” said Catherine Arnprister, 23, of Los Angeles, who arrived at one gate to the park with three Australian and American friends, their faces painted with their country’s flag.
“Only letting the English in with the extra tickets isn’t in the spirit of the Olympics,” Arnprister added. “Everyone should have a chance to enjoy them.”

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympics, Travel, Your neighbors | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Olympic photos: Day 4

I ran around Monday trying to track down a family from Felton who are in town and trying to catch the games. Julie’s working on their story in a few days. I knew where they were but was about 5 minutes behind them for 4 hours. Got plenty of walking in though. We set a specific time and place to meet Tuesday where they can see a little bit of the games. Their story is one of thousands here in London having to  do with the ticket process. Look for Julie’s in depth story in a few days.

So since I was trying to track them down I wasn’t near many Olympic areas and didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked. I tried to make myself feel better by telling myself it was my day off, but I still should try harder. Tuesday might be a bit more of the same: I have a portrait to take for another of Julie’s stories then I go meet that family again. Wednesday though, I’m heading over to Hampton Court Palace to shoot the Cycling Time Trials. Later this week I’m getting a look around the Olympic Park, which I haven’t been able to see yet. I’ve talked to a few folks that have been to other Olympics and they were shocked that the Olympic Park is only open to people who bought tickets to an event inside the park. The rest of us have to watch it on TV. I wonder if they are worried about too many crowds in a tight space.

Anyway, here’s a few of the photos I did manage to grab as I walked in circles.

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympics, Photos | Leave a comment

Reporting from opening ceremonies

I already have my seat at the stadium for the Olympic opening ceremonies. I’m right in the the center, halfway up, and someone guessed it’s worth 2,000 pound. I’d like to share the view with you, especially since the ceremony won’t be shown live in the US, from what I understand. So, stay tuned as I update this post as the event unfolds.
I already heard the Arctic Monkeys warming up and I think Madonna as well. The ceremony begins in T-minus 2 hours. I can’t wait!

7:55 p.m.
First there were rain clouds. Now they are bringing in cows and goats and sheep. Hmmmm

8:21 p.m.
Just got a very detailed instruction on how we are supposed to participate. One task is rolling a silk up and down the rows, so it flies like a section-wide flag. Another is to toss around gigantic green beach balls with happy faces on them. Apparently, they also have cameras attached. That should make for some interesting video.

I think they should have given people an IQ test before letting them in with all the pre-game instructions they’re getting.

8:34 p.m.
There are some interesting things happening with pixel paddles, which look a little bit like pingpong paddles but have 9 LED lights attatched. In all, there are 70,799 of them and they turn the stadium into a giant screen. …

It’s not an Olympic ceremony in London without rain …

8:38 p.m.
I think the announcer forgot Frank Turner’s name for a moment.

8:53 p.m.
All is quiet in the “countryside” as we wait for the athletes. The sheep, however, are getting applause as they leave through a small chute.

9:08 p.m.
This is where you television viewers join in. Keneth Branaugh is giving a speech from Shakespeare. This after he rode in on a horse-pulled wagon.

Taiko drums signify the start of the industrial revolution. How many peole are out there now? Must be at least 1,000

It is the industrial revolution, and also the fanciest furniture/set moving scene ever.

9:18 p.m.
This section is called “Pandamonium” Seems apt — they’re bringing in a barge and erected seven smokestacks and a bed of sparks and hot steel. … Ah, from the steel was forged the five Olympic rings.
Sparks rained down from the hot red rings. Wow, that was truly gorgous, and it smells like sparklers.

9:25 p.m.
Mow onto a piece called Happy and Glorious starring James Bond and the Queen

Yes, the corgies have names — Monty Willow and Holly — and they are the queen’s.

Looks like they put the queen right next to the press. Hey, you know what they say — keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Net up “Second to the right and straight on till morning”
It features gigantic beds – wish I had one for my dorm room — and nurses. some of the kids jumping on the beds might be in the next Olympics in trampoline and tumbling.

Uh oh, someone call the dog catcher. Looks like the 101 dalmations are out.
This is a weird mix of Alice and Wonderland and the Harry Potter series. Should Voldermort really be bigger than the Queen of Hearts? Doesn’t matter I guess, he was slayed by Mary Poppins x 100

9:51 p.m.
Not only do I love Chariots of Fire, but I also love British humor. Rowan Atkinson was hilarious in that skit.
And while it was going on, an entire house and mountain were built.

Yikes, talk about pop culture overalod. There’s music, video, TV and neon.

9:56 p.m.
This one is called ” Frankie and Jude say … Thanks Tim”
I don’t get the references, at least not yet.

Wow, the UK has given us some pretty awesome music. Though I’m not sure about the I’m forever blowing bubbles song nor the Notting Hill as the centerpiece of its movies. Firestarter, I used to jam out to that song.

10:11 p.m.
This segment is called Abide by me. Not sure what it’s about. There isn’t anything going on in the stadium, just on the screens. Well, except the dismantling of the rocking house (not a mountain, my bad).
Oh, wait, it’s showing all the stages of the torch relay. Now I get it. Did they really carrying on a speeding jet boat? And with David Beckham driving it? Can I be Jane Bailey please? Just this one time?

Ooops, i was wrong, the memorial is called Abide in me. It’s gorgeous.

Here come the athletes!

Angola goes down with the worst uniforms yet. Plaid dresses from head to toe. Not my cup of tea.
The Argentina team is massive.

Really like the Armenian suits. Very classy

The athletes are all so happy and excited to be here .. and most aren’t hard to look at.

Belarus went the all-white route with red cumberbunds, very classy. And here is Belgium. Wonder if the field hockey players I saw in the train station are in that group? Weird that most of the girls are wearing heels and the men have red shoes that look like old Jordans on.

Bermuda went the shorts route, and Bolivia has on patterned outfits that rival Angola’s.

Brazil gets the big cheers, of course.

Wow, is Brunei just one person? That’s crazy. I’m going to have to find out what event she is in.

Oooh, I like the check/plaid on the Bulgaria outfits.

Sad to admit I couldn’t recognize half the teams by their flags. I’m going to have to work on that.
Canada also draws a big cheer.

I wonder if the dancers in the background had to take a lot of Jazzercize to keep doing those moves over and over and over again.

Unike the other groups, I find it interesting that the big Chinese bunch walk in a fairly compact unit.

Little bit of confusion there before I realized Greece went first because it is the birthplace of the Olympics.

I could totally wear Columbia’s khaki and white ensemble to work. I like it.

Cuba has the whole world by a string, or at least some of the athletes do. Wonder if those are part of the outfit.

Soo, after the athletes walk, they just hang out together in the center of the stadium or on the grassy knolls. They have to get tired of standing that long, right?

Czech Republic brought their own umbrellas. Cute and they didn’t even need them, nor will they get bad luck because even though the temperature is perfect, they’re outside.

Can someone tell me where Eritrea is please? And, it has quite a few athletes.

Couple countries where everyone is in long skirts, couple where everyone is in three-piece pants suits. Culture differences are so fascinating.

Short skirts are apparently in in Georgia. Look out guys.

One entire team has decided to sit down in the infield. I can’t say I blame them, especially since at least one woman is in high heels.

11 p.m. __________

Wow, the Independent Olympic Athletes are having a lot of fun. All 3 of them. How do they get qualified as such? Another question to be answered later.

Usain Bolt seems to be having fun as the Jamaica flag bearer, but the group doesn’t seem to be moving fast enough for him.

Lesotho, really, does someone have a globe I can borrow? A world map? Anything?

Malaysia, harnessing the power of the tiger.

Here comes Mexico, in a myriad of colors and, without fail, a sombraro.

I’m wondering if Bevan Docherty will walk with Team New Zealand. He’s playing it off like he’s old hat at this Olympics stuff, but everyone loves a parade, right?

Apparently not, no Mr. Docherty. m

Well, there are three women wallking with the Saudi Arabia team, so I guess the government is serious about letting them compete.

Slovakia = Styling. Love the fedoras and the sweaters.

There had been some hubub that Spain’s outfits, apparently made in Russia, were hideous. But they’re actually not bad. Bright red and yellow, but those are the country’s colors

The red and black dresses for Trinidad and Tobago — matching the flag of course — are really pretty.

Go USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just saw Kobe, Dalhausser and Rogers, Kerri Walsh, Lebron, the whole crew. The USA is going to rock this!
On a side note, our girls’ skirts look pretty matronly compared to some of their counterparts’. Come on Ralph Lauren, it’s time for an update.

It’s Mohammad Ali!

The flag is raised, the Queen opened the games, and here comes Sir Steve Redgrave to light the torch. Redgrave is a rower who won medals at five straight Olympics. The torch traveled 12,500 miles.

12:31
These runners represent future Olympians

Wow. The torch became a porcupine and then a huge torch again. Then the fireworks and Paul McCartney. It’s a good night.

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Events, Olympics | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Whitewashed (Column by Julie Jag)

Andrew McMenamin, left, the venue media manager for the Lee Valley White Water Centre, sits up front with Sentinel Sports Editor Julie Jag on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 in Hertforshire, UK. (Julie Jag/Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Julie Jag
Out There

I woke up Wednesday morning feeling sore and bruised, like I’d slept on a bed of rocks. The culprit could have been the mattress on my twin bed in the mouse house of a dorm room I’m staying in while covering the Olympics in London, one obviously designed for someone much younger and shorter than me.

Then I realized I was feeling especially beleaguered because I actually had bounced off several rocks the night before. Well, they weren’t really rocks, they were blue plastic barricades masquerading as boulders on the man-made Olympic white water course at Lee Valley. But they left bruises just the same.

Six other journalists and I opted to take the 40-minute bus ride out of London to raft the Lee Valley course that will be the venue for the Olympic sports of canoe and kayak. We went under the guise of getting a taste of these under-the-radar sports. Yet when we discovered several glaring discrepancies between our activity and the Olympic ones – going down the course in a broad and stable eight-person rubber raft rather than a sleek and tippy one- or two-person fiberglass vessel, discarding any concern about our speed and barreling straight through the long poles called “gates” that line the course rather than going around them – we turned a blind eye. Really, we just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to escape the 31-degree [make that 87-degrees, fahrenheit] heat with a dunk in a river.

Of course, I didn’t realize we actually would be dunked, something I blame on the language barrier.

“Statistically, we’re going to lose a couple of you, hopefully not permanently,” Paskell Blackwell, an assistant manager for the public water park and the head of the safety team there during the Games, had warned us. Spoken in his charming British accent, though, his words did little to instill fear, even though they came during nearly an hour of safety orientation.

To be honest, I didn’t even bring a change of clothes. After all, this was a press excursion, which usually means all guides are instructed to play nice and give us only favorable things to write about. Besides, I spent a couple years in Durango, Colo., where whitewater kayaking was practically a varsity sport and river rafting takes the place of pickup soccer games.

That was a challenge. This appeared to be little more than a roughly $50 million amusement park, complete with purified water and a log-ride-like conveyor belt that delivers boats to the start.

“When you get to the top, it’s a really big drop, and you’re allowed to go ‘Whoopee,’” said John MacLeod, a 1972 Olympic kayaker for Great Britain who helped design the course.

Whoopee? This really was going to be easy.

As predicted, the first time down went without a hiccup. I almost wished the wall of five or six grandstands surrounding the course were full, just so people could witness how good our team was at this. The seven of us paddled together like a seasoned rowing crew and surfed the rapids like the men of Maverick’s.

The second time down didn’t go so well. Perhaps it was deservedly so, considering my lack of levity when our guide Ben Waddington warned us that this run would be more vigorous and my abundance of glee when another boat spilled all of its occupants after coming upon the third of four major drops. The guides had aptly named that rapid “Boom.”

“That’s what tends to happen there,” Blackwell informed me later. “You think everything is all right, then boom!”

A short time afterward, that’s exactly what happened to us.

Waddington made a key error to kick off the chaos. He believed that, as our raft plunged nose first down a drop off and our adrenaline was pulsing, we could discern our right from our left. Shortly after we slammed into one of those blue barriers, called “rapid blocks,” he shouted at us to lean left. We leaned right.

Suddenly I went tumbling. I landed on rapid blocks, bodies and whitewater before everything went dark as the boat flipped over of the lot of us. I pushed it off, gulping in some filtered water and some air in the process. Then, I tried to remember those safety instructions I vaguely remember hearing while I was taking photos for posterity.

Posterity, right! Blackwell had told me to keep my posterior off the bottom and my feet facing forward. That worked long enough for me to see a rescuer throw a line to one of my shipmates. I, meanwhile, dropped down the third rapid, bumped against some fake rocks and somehow ended up under the raft again. This time as I squirmed to get out, my feet ended up behind me. With the force of 13 tons of water per second, the river then sent me into an underwater somersault.

Thankfully, that was the last of the rapids. I found the surface after one revolution, got my feet pointed downstream again and, though shaken and water logged, realized I would be able to safely float to shore.

But there was one more blue rapid block ahead of me. Of course I hit it, but this time it was on purpose. I used it to pull myself out of the current and onto the shore.

Once there, I closed my eyes, took a big breath of unpurified air and tried to collect myself. When I opened them, I was looking right up at those grandstands. My Olympic moment took place in front of an empty house, and nothing could have made me happier.

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Events, Olympics, Photos | 1 Comment

The crowds in London

Julie emailed me tonight to let me know that I might be able to steal a shot of the Opening Ceremonies final dress rehearsal, but it was pretty lae already and I had settled in. But, not one to miss a dramatic night shot, I sprang into action (slowly rolled off the bed). When I got to the Olympic Park I was shocked for two reasons: first, I missed the rehearsal so I wouldn’t get any shots. Second, the crowds were huge. I mean really huge. I somehow made my way up alongside the massive crowd being held back by security to ease the load on the public transit system. This was a section of the crowd on a bridge, shoulder-to-shoulder two dozen people wide and 100-150 meters deep. I made my way to the back when I had a thought … hey, I’m a photographer and this seems like an interesting story. So out the camera came and I shot away.

People were getting frustrated and no one liked being in that crowd for so long, but to be fair to the Olympic staff and security, they kind of had to hold people back. That many people all trying to catch trains, buses and subways all at once would cause even more problems. But I really felt bad for the people in the crowd. Especially since I now was one.

I slipped past one group and made my way to another behind them being held back for their turn to descend upon the bridge, only to be held back again before they could enter the station. I waited for them to move, got my shots and looked around for my own exit. I found it in the mall. Yes, thank God for the mall.

You enter the mall on the second story and can go downstairs near the entrance. So down I went and sure enough I was able to walk right into the station to get on my train with no problem at all. I’m a sneaky little guy.

Anyway, here are the four photos I sent off to the paper. I hope they find a way to use them because I didn’t see any other photographers there. SCOOP!!!

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympic Preparation, Olympics, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The best laid plans of mice and men

I said yesterday that I was going to shoot a boxing practice today as part of a story Julie has planned. Well, I didn’t lie … I was GOING TO shoot a boxing practice. Only today’s practice wasn’t open to the public, tomorrow’s is. So I’ll shoot it then. But I got there early while Julie was at the main media center for the beach volleyball press conference and had to wait for her. I tried to email her, but I didn’t have a wireless connection there. We’ll try again tomorrow.

While I waited I shot some stuff for work. Today the lines on the road were repainted to accommodate Olympic vehicles and shuttles. This caused a lot of confusion as there was a long line of cars down a little street leading into a residential area. I felt bad for them even though signs had been posted this would happen for months now. Still, it sucks to have your routine messed with.

After I met back up with Julie we headed to Brick Lane, which is full of Curry houses, coffee shops and hip clothing stores. It felt like a much narrower Haight Street in San Francisco. This was also near the area frequented by Jack the Ripper. In fact, I think victim No. 2, Annie Chapman, was found on the corner of Brick Lane and Hanburry Street, which happens to be near where we ate lunch (nice little Syrian place with good shawarma and the best ice tea I’ve ever had).

Pretty quick day. Most of our time was spend on the Underground or eating. We want to get an early start tomorrow, but it’s already past 9 p.m. and Julie isn’t back from the media center yet and she still needs to write a story. How is it that even when we don’t work at the paper and are on the other side of the world, we still go to bed at 2 a.m. every night?

Categories: Behind the Scenes, Olympic Preparation, Olympics, Photos | Leave a comment

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