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Speaking to the Cartwrights!

Steve Russell - Staff Photographer

I thought I had them when the kid in the second row almost dislocated his arm while waving it into the air wanting to ask a question. I realized I didn't when I extended the mike to him and he sheepishly says, "I forgot what I was going to ask"

It was my second big crowd speaker's bureau  engagement since returning from the Olympics. The first was in front an entire school, JK to Grade Six at Bruce Public School in Toronto, then the biggest group I had ever spoken to, now seemed like a warmup for the JK to grade eight students at Cartwright Central Public School in Blackstock.

Showing pictures is fun and the large group was a lot of fun to show pictures to.  I like to dream that my pictures might inspire a future Olympian.

The showing at the "smaller" school helped me prepare for the larger school.

I learned to keep the message simple. I showed them a camera on a 500 mm f/4 lens, which was my workhorse at the games.  I stuck to three main stories about athletes, Kristi Richards  who despite a wipeout in her final run got up and finished the run to the delight of the fans, Joannie Rochette , who lost her mother and skated to a bronze medal and Jasey Jay Anderson, snowboarder who gave up a MacDonald's sponsorship because he would rather sell kids blue berries than french fries. Three athletes that all parents should do back flips for of their child adopted them as an idol!

Of course, I showed them a lot of back flips!

What made the show at Cartwright Central unique for me had to be what the grade fours did afterwards.

As I show pictures in the gym you can hear how excited the kids are when they see the pictures. After the showing at Bruce Public School I learned to keep my words to a minimum and let the kids enjoy the pictures. 

I always wonder what the kids take from the pictures and the chat. The Grade Fives gave that look into what stuck with them. After the presentation they drew a picture based on my photographs. This was pretty cool, to see what inspired them!

Here are the pictures they drew!

(FYI, If the pictures look a little mushy in a couple places, I did remove the names from the pictures)

Different variations of Alexandre Bilodeau were drawn, Canada's first Goal Medalist made a big impression!

Joannie Rochette's story was affected me and a lot of of the kids. Death is a hard thing to bring up with kids.


"Good Job" seemed like Hockey pictures were the big favourite, although one young student in the question and answer was upset that I did not have any pictures from the women's hockey games. Sorry, I did not get the chance to photograph any!

Sean White, aka, the Flying Tomato, also made a big impression on the kids, I guess it has to do with the video games. But I gotta love the inclusion of me in the upper left!

Sidney Crosby scores the winning goal, with me capturing the moment! 

Kristi Richard's story made an impact on one of the Grade Fives!

"Sean White inspired me to colour this, he caught my eyes" I never got that close to Sean!

The aerial skiers earned a lot of Ooohs and Aaahs!

Joannie Rochette's story was a school favourite.

Sid the Kid got the biggest cheers!



This is my opening ceremony shot with the snowboarder flying through the Olympic Rings! 

Great flags, the children at Cartwright Central got into the Olympic Spirit, each class adopted countries, made flags and held an open ceremony in their gym.

Why the umbrellas? I spoke a lot about the amount of rain that fell!

Thanks to the children of Cartwright Central Public School!



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Thank you very much for sharing our pictures with others. Your pictures were the real inspiration for our pictures. Just a note of correction.... We are all in Grade 4 but can't wait to be in Grade 5 next year. You should come back again and we will be sure to draw more pictures just for you!!!

I love the kids pictures! They all did a really great job on them!

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