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02/13/2010

Olympics-day one

Richard Lautens,Staff Photographer

Like Steve Russell's post, I too was with him at the Opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It sounds simple enough-go to a big arena, shoot pictures, get misty eyed when the flag is raised and then go home. It's not quite that simple however.

The day began at 5:30am with my colleague, Rick Madonik and I hoofing into Stanley Park to see California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger carrying the torch. Security broke down almost instantly and it was nothing but elbows and mahem-what a way to start the day. I did have a quick chat with his wife, Maria Schriver who seemed a little concerned over the whole situation.

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger carries the torch through Stanley Park.

After filing those pictures, it was time to check in with the office, check with the writers and plan out our day at the opening ceremonies.

Steve and I cleared through security at approximately 2pm, got on a bus and after a pointless delay finally got to GM Place by 3:30 or so for the 6pm start. Steve had a spot in the middle on the side, I was on one side at the end.

Image now sitting in a typical stadium seat with 3 cameras, 5 big lenses, laptop, cell phone and people on either side with the same luggage trying to shoot and send pictures back-not pretty.

I lost my cell phone, found my cell phone, a fistfight almost broke out between photographers and the general public in front of us who wanted to keep standing up and intense time pressure made for a long and harried night. It didn't help that I had an enormous photographer from Belarus on one side and an enormous American photographer on the other-a little too up close and personal for my tastes!

It was a day that started at 5:30am ended for me at 1am when I was finally able to get to bed-all in all it was wonderful.

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Me with my 600mm lens and a hat custom made out of recycled hockey socks. I was presented with the cap by a friend who uses recycled sports clothes (sureman.ca) the day before I left, very sweet and oh so Canadian.


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A view from my seat.

You can find a bunch more pictures here.

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Hi Richard

Those pictures you took were amazing and I love your Sureman hat, I am looking forward to seeing some Team Canada Mens hockey pictures!!! I hope you are having fun

have fun at the Olympics

Your friend Peter

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