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|| News Item: Posted 2006-03-30

Torino Winter Olympic Memories
'This was going to be a long couple of weeks!'

By Donald Miralle, Getty Images

Photo by Donald Miralle / Getty Images

Photo by Donald Miralle / Getty Images
My Olympic experience began with a cancelled connection flight from San Diego, an ensuing two-hour taxi drive to Los Angeles and a stay at an Airport hotel with my six bags of gear, skis and clothing for a 24-day assignment in Torino. My fourth Olympic Games for Getty Images could have started smoother, but as travel mishaps go this was par for the course.

But after a week of acclimating to the mountains, which included a little bit of skiing, imbibing of Borolo wine, and the occasional preview photo, I quickly forgot my travel misfortunes and was more than ready to commence the Games.

In my opinion, the Olympics Games have always represented the premier athletic competition, with the best in the business coming together for a non-stop symphony of sports. Day 2 of the Games was one of the more memorable ones for me, which included a full serving of Men's and Women's 30 and 15km Cross-Country Final followed by Normal Hill Individual Ski Jumping Final.

After spending most of the morning running around the cross-country course (and taking a couple of hard falls on my ass along the way), I finally understood what was going on by the time they only had one lap left. The best photo positions and angles at the events were allocated to the TOBO video crew and the Carabiniers were there to escort you out in between chain-smoking cigarettes. This was going to be a long couple of weeks!

Later that evening after a short bus ride to the other side of the mountain, I began an Everest-like ascent up the ski-jumping course with my 70 lbs. camera pack, realizing afterwards there was a media shuttle that I could have taken me straight to the top!

A bit frustrated and very out of breath, I decided I needed some quiet time alone so I walked to where there were no other photographers and tried a pan shot for awhile.

After gambling with a tenth and a fifteenth of a second, I figured that one of them had to be sharp and started my descent of the course with very sore back and legs. Two days down, fourteen to go, and I was already dreaming of my bed at home. But I guess this is why they only have the Olympics every couple of years.

(Donald Miralle is a regular contributor to Sports Shooter, writing occasional articles for the newsletter and participating in educational programs. Miralle is a staff photographer with Getty Images based in the San Diego area. You can view his work at his member page: and his personal website:

Related Links:
Miralle's member page

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