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|| News Item: Posted 2012-08-27

2012 Summer Olympics - John Leyba
“I spent the first week covering our local swimmer Missy Franklin who ended up with four gold medals and a bronze, not bad for a first timer.”

By John Leyba

Photo by John Leyba

Photo by John Leyba
This being my first summer Olympics, I don't have anything to compare to Beijing but from all the stories from the other photographers who were at Beijing, London wasn't all that great. There were more complaints about the transportation to venues more than anything.

A venue you can see from the MPC took 15-20 minutes to get to from the Main Press Center. There were no buses that went directly to the venue without having to make two stops along the way. I guess you could say it was a mess. The Javlin high-speed train saved a lot of time for me getting to the MPC from my hotel. Walking to Kings Cross about 5 min and the train to the Stratford International stop was only 6 minutes.

As far as the games go, I had a pretty good time and thanks to friends, it made it memorable. I spent the first week covering our local swimmer Missy Franklin who ended up with four gold medals and a bronze, not bad for a first timer. Then switched gears to track & field and other sports along the way.

The 100-meters with Bolt was amazing, to see all those flashes go off at the start. I made a few nice photos from his events he ran in. During the 200-meters I had to settle to shoot from the upper platform, I was late getting down to the moats due to I was shooting long jump. I made the most of it. Manage to squeeze out two nice frames between the two photographers that were standing in front of, a very small window of opportunity.

Being part of an amazing event and to be surrounded by so many talented (LEGIT!!) photographers made the trip worthwhile. The one thing that I couldn't get over is, the photographers that had access inside the play of field. I know they work for a big agency but give us little guys that have to shoot from the photo platforms a little bit of consideration.

I don't think getting in really close with a wide-angle lens makes any better photo than using 70-200. Not only the stills but also the TV. crew too. During gymnastics, the women's team just got swamped with cameras in their face after winning the gold. We all looked at each other from the side and just watched. No photo to be had. Oh well. Whatcha gonna do?

London such a fast pacing city, no one sleeps. Thanks to Larry Smith and the other EPA boys for keeping me out all night. Lucky the hotel was only 30 yards away, or is that a bad thing. The only thing I could think of that I don't enjoy was getting to an event to get and hold a spot 4 hours prior. I just had to roll with it and do the best I could.

Overall I had a pretty good experience and a pretty good take for my first Summer Olympic Games, there will be a lot to take away from this Olympics to apply to my next one for sure. I hope.

I found this thought for the day posted on the Underground dry erase board on the 26th of July at the entrance to the tube stop and kinda had that in the back of my mind for the rest of the games.

"Life is like a camera, just focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don't turn out- just take another shot."

John Leyba is a staff photographer with the Denver Post. You can see samples of his work at his Sports Shooter member page:

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