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03/03/2010

My Olympic Moment

By Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

I love Steve's Olympic moment because it explores nicely the committment of high calibre athletes and their dedication to their sport. It's what sport should be all about.

My own Olympic moment seem to morph with the Games. In fact, it was the last 1.5 minutes of all the shooting I did in the previous days, which brought me to a moment I won't soon forget. And it centred around the Men's Gold hockey game, a game I didn't think I'd get to shoot (photo positions are limited by how many tickets each organization receives).

Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime of the Gold medal game. Sid the Kid, who was not a real force through the tournament, came through in the end. His goal will not soon be forgotten. As he was mobbed by teammates (including Louongo's blocker and catching glove) he was greeted by Captain Scott Neidermayer with a very happy Joe Thornton thrown in for some fun. Hands clutch at Crosby from behind, and the Kid and the Old Man of the team, share the elation of the win.

In fact, it's a unique thing that happened. I had a shooting position at ice level which either works great, or doesn't work at all. When the game headed into overtime, if Canada didn't score, then I'd have nothing to shoot. What ended up happening, the explosion of celebration directly in front of me, just a few feet behind the glass was amazing. The unique part is the seats previously occupied by photographers were vacated 1/2 way through the 3rd period. Photogs who wanted to shoot the on-ice (medals and celebration) had to marshall down the tunnel where the zamboni enters the ice, with 10 minutes left in regulation time. Their computers were left behind, so others didn't fill the seats. Others went to other positions thinking the celebration would be with goaltender Roberto Loungo. But the celebration came to Sid, and Sid was four feet beyond the glass. In an arena with approximately 80-100 photographers working the game, there are no other versions quite like the picture below. No one was beside me, and no one shot it from the same angle. Its a moment of joy for the players and its a moment (against all odds) for me that was not captured by other photographers. At least, not the way this picture stands out.

This doesn't happen often in a career (not a big events like this) and it's one I will carry forward with me.

Rm_OLY_HockeyGOLD_0228_23

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great capture, rick!!

That is a fantastic shot! It's strange how things work out. Had you moved to what you thought might have been a be a better shot, you'd of missed it. Nice to see this angle. I think you and other photographers did a fantastic job capturing the Olympics. "A day-in-the-life" of a photographer section of the blog was interesting to see how much effort goes into capturing these images.

Great Photo! You have to be ready in sports photography even if it may not look like you are in the right place. What camera/lens?

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