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02/16/2010

Canada's Olympic Gold

Richard Lautens/Staff Photographer

What an extreme pleasure it was to be at Canada's first ever gold medal on our own soil. 

It was a bit of a fluke really.  My colleagues here were at the women's moguls the day before and had to deal with pouring rain throughout the day making it very miserable.  They wanted to dry off the next day, so off I went.

I had a sunny day on the slopes of Cypress.  A long trudge up the hill with crampons on my feet paid off with some nicely lit photos but it became very special when we had four canadians in the top 10 after qualifying.  The Canadians were a bit of a longshot to knock off the mogul king from Australia. 

For the finals I decided to shoot photos from the bottom of the hill rather than half-way up.  I always say that preliminaries are about action, finals are about re action.  I needed to be at the finish line for the emotion of the win or the loss.

Panic set in as I was trying to squeeze into a spot with the hundreds of other photographers.  I tried one, thought I would be pinched out at the last minute; moved to another spot, thought the TV camera guy would run into my shot; and finally stopped moving around and concentrated on the skiers.

There was an amazing sense of pride that day being Canadian.  I am a real sucker for cheers and flags and I really do think there is something very special about being surrounded by the red and white.

I was watching Alexandre when the scores popped up of course and he realized he won.  It was then a few minute blur of shooting, switching lenses and moving about but I knew something magic had just happened.

RL_OLYmoguls06_blur
Alexandre speeds past with a slow shutter speed pan

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Some very pretty light in a week of rain.

RL_OLYmoguls17_ski
His final winning run.

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I love the look on his face as he hugs the Chef de Mission for Canada.

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I was fortunate to be at his medal presentation the next night.

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His face says it all after he got his medal
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The medal is an awfully pretty thing.

My only wish now is that there are a bunch more on the way.

Richard Lautens/Toronto Star

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Richard, these are amazing shots on a very proud day for Canadians!

Great Photos, I love the pan shot, I look forward to more posts

Wonderfull pictures! Especially the last one of Alexandre getting his gold medal! That gold medal looks so beautiful around the neck of a Canadian on home soil!

I couldn't agree more, the gold looks great next to the Maple Leaf!

Richard, great shots! Just curious as to what the EXIF info on the panning shot was?

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