Exceeding expectations and riding the Olympic wave
Started my day off with a very healthy breakfast at McDonalds. One good thing about the Olympics is it doesn’t matter if you eat every meal at unhealthy fast food, you won’t gain weight with the amount of running around and work you’re doing.
But anyways back to the day of shooting.
I started off shooting the men’s gymnastics team final. With the top 2 USA men pulling out of the competition with injury a few weeks before the Olympics nobody expected the team of Olympic first timers to be anywhere near the top.
As the competition got going the USA men were doing very well and flirting near the top spot. After each successful routine they got more and more excited.
In the end China and Japan pulled away. USA had already finished their final routine and waited for the remaining competitors to finish to see where they ended up. Out of nowhere (probably because I wasn’t paying attention) they started celebrating and going crazy.
They had clinched the bronze medal. After about 10 seconds of unobstructed shooting the broadcast tv cameras came in and destroyed any further clean shots for myself and the group of shooters around me.
During the medal ceremony the Chinese team celebrated their gold medal with the support of the capacity crowd.
After a quick edit I hopped a bus to head out to the whitewater canoe/kayak course.
I have never shot that sport before but I will say this, I can’t wait to shoot it again!
It was an incredibly exciting and visual sport. I shot some stuff with the 600mm for awhile.
Then it was time to bust out a wide angle and try to get closer to the action.
I tried on a few shots hanging the camera over the ledge towards the water but the backgrounds were too busy so I tried working a reflection off the wet concrete, it didn’t work well like I had hoped but atleast I tried instead of wondering later on if it would have worked well.
In the end I got a few decent jube shots as the third place finisher in the final went nuts and broke his paddle over the bow of his boat in celebration.
He was then joined in celebration by a team member on the shore.
After the hour long bus ride back to the media center I packed it up then went with my buddy Chris Gooley to the bar district for some Mexican food, and had a few drinks at the bar owned by my friend Mike Islers brothers. I gotta say was a great bar. So great I may go back there tomorrow.
-Mark J. Rebilas is a freelance sports photographer based in Arizona. His work is seen regularly in Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, USA Today and many others around the country. Visit www.markjrebilas.com to learn more about his work.