From 145 km/h to zero braking with your toes
Steve Russell/Staff Photographer
With Canada in the hunt for medals in the Men's and Women's skeleton we decided to double team the final runs.
Bernie got to the track early while I covered the women's cross country 15 km pursuit and then raced out of there to make it to the sliding track to find a back up angle to Bernie.
Bernie had arrived at the track very early to stake out a spot in an ideal position were he had a view of the athletes coming in, breaking, walking back with their sleds and then going to the finish house to watch the other riders.
I grabbed a spot that covered a couple of Bernie blind spots.
I positioned myself with a view straight down the braking chute, so when the athletes passed Bernie I still had a view of their faces. And when the camera man chased them down the course, blocking Bernie, the Star still had a view of the athlete. My position was a challenge, I arrived near the end of the women's third run, late!
There were already about 20 some photographers in that spot.
I could have been a little closer to the track but I was looking for a straight on view to make the most of my positioning and the pictures a little cleaner.
Thankfully there was a road behind the photo position and I walked up about 10 metres behind the photo pit and was high enough to have a clear view of the finishing track.
After finishing the third run, the area began to fill with photographers and I had to maintain my photo position to protect it from the late comers who would try to set up in the gap and block my view.
The position worked well for the women's final run, unfortunately our Canadian did not. I filed from my position so I could keep an eye on late comers.
A lot of photographers left after the women's final but it was dark and the temperatures began to drop. The photographer in front of me put on a toque that increased his height by about ten centimetres, I could not see as much of the track as I would of liked.
I did not want to move further up the hill, I was already pretty far back for the 400 with a 1.4x converter.
So I ran to the side and picked up some rock to stand on.
I had to stand on those shaky rocks for the entire third and fourth runs.
In the end it worked, Bernie scored A1 with a tight picture of men's gold medalist Jon Montgomery, I scored the sports front with a picture of him breaking!
Jeff Pain greets the crowd, for the most part all the skeleton athletes get up from their rides and celebrate, maybe its the adrenaline left over from going down the track at 145 km/h with their chin inches from the ice.
Steve Russell on the Rocks! I guess it is fitting, I am from Sudbury, What we can't see is the main pit up front. Thanks to John for the pictures.
See a gallery of Jon Montgomery winning