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|| News Item: Posted 2012-08-27

2012 Summer Olympics - Paul Kitagaki
“With 1,700 accredited photographers it’s quite a challenge trying to make a great story telling image.”

By Paul Kitagaki

Photo by Paul Kitagaki

Photo by Paul Kitagaki

Silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (FRA) exchanged jerseys with Gold medallist Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN) after winning the Men's 3000m Steeplechase in the London Olympics 2012.
I had a great time at the London games and this was my sixth Olympic game experience. I used the underground train a lot to get to the venues and experienced the spirit of London, jostling with commuters and Olympic ticket holders in the crowded, and warm trains.

With 1,700 accredited photographers it’s quite a challenge trying to make a great story telling image. Long hours, ok food, but you have great camaraderie with fellow colleagues from the states. Everybody is trying to working at their top form, capturing the best performance and emotions of the athletes.

How much better can it get photographing Michael Phelps wins his 22nd Olympic medal and become the most decorated Olympian.

Watching Usain Bolt running effortless and win back-to-back Gold medals in the Men’s 100m and 4 x 100m relay.

Two nice unexpected moments happened for me.

Silver medalist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad (France) and Gold medalist Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya) ripped off and exchanged their jerseys after winning the Men's 3000m Steeplechase.

Tomas Lorincz (Hungary) throws his coach after beating Manuchar Tskhadaia (Georgia) in the 66k semifinals match in Wrestling Greco – Roman

The most frustrating working condition was the abundance of TV coverage and personnel, especially at the finish line at the athletic events, where two roving camera people plus a cameraperson on a Segway converge and surround the athlete and then hearing in many languages a collective sigh from the still photographers, as the moment is lost.

But we heard and saw living legends in English rock, Paul McCartney, singing “Hey Jude” during the Opening ceremony.

Annie Lennox sang “Little Bird” and The Who sang “My Generation” during the closing ceremony.

Throw in the sighting of the Royals and it was a great game.

Paul Kitagaki Jr. is a staff photographer with the Sacramento Bee and a ZUMAPress contract photographer. You can see samples of his work at his Sports Shooter member page:

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