I am far from perfect.As a journalist however, I do pride myself on always being on time to do interviews or conduct photo shoots.
The Olympic torch was in town recently, in case you haven’t noticed the miles of coverage from different news organizations all over the country. Images of Calgary’s glorious ‘88 Olympics segued into images of the 2010 Olympics to come; basically it was a really big deal that the torch made it’s return to Cowtown. I am afraid to say it was much to my chagrin that I arrived at Canada Olympic Park on Jan. 20 to discover I had just missed out on the opportunity to shoot said historical event.
When I see photos from that day in other media publications, of the torch being carried down the hill by a snowboarder no less, it really chaps my ass that I didn’t double check the time before heading out to COP.
My discrepancy got me thinking about some of my fellow journalist friends who actually captured the torch with their cameras but certainly weren’t without mishaps of their own.
Amy Gregson, a reporter with the Strathmore Times, shared her torch story and why she could now double as a marathon runner. The first time she saw the torch was from the small town of Gleichen. The torch run was held up that day by a train, putting it behind schedule.
“I was just trying to get a good picture. And not knowing if my pictures were good or not, I [started] running after them. This proved to be difficult as my boots have no traction and it was icy on parts of the road. It’s a miracle that I didn’t fall.”
Good journalist that she is, Gregson got the shot despite the undesirable situation. And kudos to her for being able to get to the torch on time to see it at all.
Another intrepid reporter who risked it all for the Olympic money shot is Cochrane Eagle copy editor Alan Mattson.
Mattson was shooting from a media van as the torch came through Cochrane. Seeing a fellow shooter jumping off the van with ease, Mattson decided to give it a shot as well.
“I thought I could try that too and so I took one step and then I took another step and then I fell straight on my ass on to the pavement in front of thousands of onlookers and they all grimaced.”
Mattson said that he got up and kept shooting, “I ignored the pain like any good journalist would.”
Despite their issues, both Gregson and Mattson said that to see the torch at all was an amazing thing.
“The Olympic torch relay was an amazing sight to see. As a journalist you’re supposed to be unbiased. In this situation it’s hard to be so,” Gregson said.
“It was really exciting,” said Mattson.
Good luck to all the Canadian athletes attending the games. Actually good luck to all athletes in general attending the games and as a word of advice, just make sure you get to your events on time.