The goal was to use some pictures on this blog that wouldn't get into the paper.
But the story behind this picture that ran on the Second Look feature on page two of the Olympics section gives a unique behind-the-scenes look that does fit with the spirit of the blog.
There are about 15 press attachés at the Olympics that deal with one, two or sometimes three different Canadian sports here at the Olympics.
The attachés deal with us, the press, then decide who will be granted interview. They schedule availability, take requests from the media as to when the practice times are, listen in the mixed zone interviews and provide quotes to the reporters who couldn't make it to the event because they were at another event or were back home.
Depending on the sport or athlete, they deal will all the media, not just the Canadian contingent.
Their numbers are the first we program into our phones when we get here.
While shooting the wrestling I noticed that Tonya Verbeek had something written on her underwear. She was a little far to see but I made a mental note to keep an eye out for it later.
Sure enough in a later bout she went for a double leg grab and there it was.
As plain as day, I could read "Kicking butt since _____, continuing in 2008!!
Always looking for a different picture for the paper, I knew I was going to move it.
But first I have to know all the words, and with that I called Mylène Croteau, the press attaché, who I was sure would be busy with two athletes in the medal round later.
So I called ....
" Hi, this is Steve Russell, a photographer with the Toronto Star here at the games."
"Hello Steve, what can I do for you?"
"Well, I have a question about Tonya Verbeek's.........umm.......underwear"
pause, just before it gets uncomfortable, I continue....
"Well, when she wears her red singlet you can see something written on it...."
still silent on the other end
"Well, it says, "Kicking butt since BLANK, continuing in 2008. I'm trying to find out what BLANK is."
Laughs, "Well, I'll ask her and get back to you."
Less than half an hour later, Mylène calls back with the answer: 1993.
I would have loved to have been there when she asked Verbeek!