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|| News Item: Posted 2012-08-27

The Summer Olympics: Sprint or marathon?

By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter Newsletter

Photo by Lucy Nicholson

Photo by Lucy Nicholson

Finish line photographers (L-R) Michael Steele/Getty Images, Lucy Nicholson/Reuters, John Mabanglo/EPA, Pascal Rondeau/L'Equipe, Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press, Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated, Olivier Morin/AFP, Robert Deutsch/USA Today.
Welcome back my friends
To the show that never ends...
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

We all want it. We all aspire to cover it. Those that have, will regale you with stories of near impossible dimensions --- while in the next breath complain about a too-long bus ride and crappy food. It is the largest, baddest-ass, butt-kicking, humbling event any Sports Shooter will cover. Ever.

It's the Summer Olympic Games.

Often starting at 7AM --- just to get a shooting spot! --- and often going until well after midnight getting those last jubo photos transmitted, you have just a few hours of sleep to recharge. So you can do it all again. Groundhog Day-meets-major-sports event.

Or to bend a sports cliché: It's a sprint AND a marathon.

Healthy eating? If a pre-made sandwich that's probably 36-hours old can be classified as healthy...

Daily workout? Walking a mile or so from the media transport drop-off to the security checkpoint, with your backpack and pulling a roller with 40-pounds of gear...

Family contact? Sneaking in a 5-minute Skype call to your daughter on her 10th birthday is as good as it gets ...

Aches & pain? That smell of Ben Gay at the's not coming from the athletes...

Laundry? For-get-about-it! (Unless you want to nap in front of the washing machine at 3AM...)

Photographers love to bitch. It's in our genes or something. If we don't have something to complain about, we just won't be happy --- even if we're at the biggest event that's held (every four years).

Photo by Mike Blake / Reuters

Photo by Mike Blake / Reuters
But we wouldn't miss it for anything.

This issue of the Sports Shooter Newsletter is very special. I am fortunate to have been able to convince, cajole, bribe, threaten and strong-arm 15 Sports Shooter members into writing about their experiences covering the London Summer Olympics. Most of these photographers had just arrived back home and a couple even wrote their pieces while still in Europe on another assignment or on vacation. It is a tribute to these 15 photographers’ dedication to photography that they thought it important to share their experiences, their stories, their images and what makes "the show that never ends" the pinnacle of their careers.

Thanks to (in no particular order): David Burnett, Bob Deutsch, Mike Blake, Nhat Meyer, John Leyba, Al Bello, Peter Miller, Steve Russell, David Eulitt, Lucy Nicholson, Mark Humphrey, Paul Kitagaki and David Bergman.

Also in this issue we feature a behind-the-scenes look at a very cool project on Olympic Moms from Jennifer Pottheiser. Brian Blanco writes in our semi-regular feature Sports Shooter Destinations about the Tampa - St. Pete area, host of the Republican National Convention.

* * *

And speaking of Emerson, Lake and Palmer --- check out A Time And A Place, the 3-CD box set of live tracks from throughout the group's career. Having seen ELP in concert a few times during their peek in the 70's, A Time And A Place is a fitting remembrance of synthesizer rock, extended solos and concept albums you couldn't quite figure out (and still can't 35 years later). If you loved ELP's rendition of Aaron Copeland's Hoedown, this live version is the best I've heard.

Just finished Lullaby, Ace Adkin's first go at continuing Robert Parker's Spencer series. Like covering the Summer Olympics ... I really miss Mr. Parker...

Photo by
Sports Shooter members share their “Olympic Memories”
Editor Note: I asked Sports Shooter members that covered the London Summer Olympics to write about their time in London, whether it was a particular image or sport or just a personal experience. Thanks to all of these photographers for taking the time to contribute to this series…most had either just returned from three weeks away from home and a couple wrote their pieces while still in Europe. This series is a reminder of why I started the Sports Shooter Newsletter: Photographers sharing their experiences, in their own words.

As always, special thanks to: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Grover Sanschagrin, Joe Gosen and Jason Burfield.

Thanks this month to contributors: David Burnett, Bob Deutsch, Mike Blake, Nhat Meyer, John Leyba, Al Bello, Peter Miller, Steve Russell, David Eulitt, Lucy Nicholson, Mark Humphrey, Paul Kitagaki, David Bergman, Jennifer Pottheiser and Brian Blanco.

The comments, opinions and other perceived nutty statements that the writers may have expressed, implied, imagined or made up are theirs and theirs alone. Sports Shooter, Inc. and published these articles in good faith with the purpose of education and inspiration. Permission in writing must be obtained from Sports Shooter, Inc. and the author of the article before being reprinted. I welcome any comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions. Please e-mail me at

The Sports Shooter Archives, as well as tons of cool resources and information, can be accessed at

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