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|| News Item: Posted 2008-09-04

Leading Off: Olympic Memories
By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

Photo by Robert Hanashiro / Sports Shooter

Robert Beck of Sports Illustrated made a lot of friends at the beach volleyball photo workroom while covering the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
The Beijing Summer Olympics was my 10th for USA TODAY and each time that I think about it since my return I become a bit melancholy. My feelings when I return from covering an Olympics is akin to that scene in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now! where Captain Willard in a Saigon hotel room laments: When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back..."

Being away from home and family for 25 days is not what it used to be - and for all I know, there may not be any more trips like this one ahead. So the memories about this Olympics and the 9 others I've covered, plays through my mind when I'm idle and still practicing the 100 yard stare.

I took a little point & shoot camera with me to shoot some digital video and I dropped it after only a few days and cracked the LCD screen. So the little Olympic Memories "video column" I had planned has a gap of several days before I was able to buy a little inexpensive replacement.

So here is a video of some things I saw, things that I did and people I met during my stay in Beijing China:

* * *

I am very excited about this issue of the Sports Shooter Newsletter. When I returned home from Beijing I set out to try to contact as many friends and colleagues that covered these Olympics - and begged, pleaded, cajoled, threatened and even bribed them to contribute one photograph and a story behind that photograph as a sort of Olympic Collection. I wanted to have as many Olympic photos and stories that we could put in Sports Shooter so them could be in one place, as a sort of gallery or archive.

I asked for ONE photograph that they felt was their most memorable, historic or represented something that they took away from their experience in China.

What surprised me was how willing these photographers were in giving me their time and their work - despite being away from home for weeks and needing to catch up on sleep, work and family time, not necessarily in that order.

Photographers being photographers, some gave me a single photo - others contributed more. But they all have one thing in common: They are all significant to the photographer who made them. They all tell a little bit about what it was like in Beijing in August 2008.

Contributing to our Olympic Collection were: Lucy Nicholson, Scott Strazzante, Robert Beck, Vince Laforet, Smiley Pool, David Eulitt, Mike Blake, Dan Powers, Paul Kitagaki, Jeff Swinger, Nhat Meyer, Don Miralle, Tim Clayton, Jack Gruber, Mark Terrill, David McIntyre, Chris Detrick, Bob Rosato, David Burnett and Rod Mar.

I am always fortunate when I can feature in the newsletter the thoughtful musings of my good friend Matt Mendelsohn. We also have a piece by Tom Theobald his coverage of the Olympics - without a credential. And we round out this issue with a piece by Preston Mack on using (young, small) stand-ins for a Sports Illustrated shoot.


As always, thanks to Special Advisors & Contributors: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Rod Mar, Trent Nelson, Jason Burfield, Grover Sanschagrin, Joe Gosen, Paul Myers and Bob Deutsch.

Thanks this month to: Lucy Nicholson, Scott Strazzante, Robert Beck, Vince Laforet, Smiley Pool, David Eulitt, Mike Blake, Dan Powers, Paul Kitagaki, Jeff Swinger, Nhat Meyer, Don Miralle, Tim Clayton, Jack Gruber, Mark Terrill, David McIntyre, Bob Rosato, Chris Detrick, David Burnett, George Bridges, Rod Mar, Preston Mack and Tom Theobald.

I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at

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VIDEO: Olympic Memories

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