The Olympics is an amazing place. Not only are we in a large and diverse country like China, we in the media get to rub shoulders with colleagues from all around the world. 10,000 or so media have come here to cover The Games and we all work together, live together, eat together, ride busses together and socialize together.
As an example, the first day here I met a very nice photographer from the Cayman Islands. She picked me out of a crowd because of my Canadian pin and her opening statement was 'We have many Canadians in my small country and they are all very nice, could you help me out?' It turns out she is unused to large events particularly on the scope of the Olympics and was trying to figure out how things work around here. I have bumped into her once or twice since and I think I have a new friend from the Cayman Islands now.
It is fascinating to talk with writers and photographers from many different countries and find out about their working conditions, journalistic styles but the thing that surprised me the most was the uniform of the photographers. Every Photographer I have seen wears this uniform every day - knee length cargo shorts, short socks, hiking shoes or trainers, a t-shirt/golf shirt/short sleeve button shirt, vest and a fanny pack worn in the front and a backpack. Granted the vest is mandatory here but it is nice to know it is not only Toronto photographers who dress so badly. -Richard Lautens