Vancouver Olympics, day 13: Busted Plans, Busted Knees…

Janne Ahonen, first round in the large hill.

Sometimes you just don’t win. And I’m talking about myself, not the Finnish athletes… who also have won absolutely nothing either. These games are slowly starting to resemble  a national disaster.

But my point: I had planned to shoot a sequence of Janne Ahonen, the moment he leaves the large hill and springs forward. His style has been under a continuous scrutiny lately and I thought I make an animated multimedia of his jump – first round from the start and the second round from the landing stage.  A sort of continuation to the multimedia piece I did of him prior to the games.

But… he fell, hurt himself  (busted a knee) – and did not jump the second round. And – because he fell – nobody would really be interested  about the starting stage of his jump. The only request I had the whole day was for an image of him falling…. which I naturally did not have.

And I had really worked for this: set my remote pretty far away, with  an 70-200/2.8 lens and a multimax trigger. Then my other (transmitter) multimax decided that the games were over. Totally dead. I had a 400mm – with an extender – in my hands, trying to shoot your standard flying ski -jumping image… and I do not have a third hand to operate a remote manually.

But: we are in Canada, where my short experience says people are really cool, mellow and ready to help you. So I walked up  to couple of volunteers and asked if somebody could give me a hand. This really nice guy – about my age – named Bruce Peaker said “sure” right away. I set an wired remote, told him what to do and he pushed the button for me. So a big thank you to him – and I can not really credit the picture above to myself alone, as he was the one doing the actual shooting…

Shot couple of more panoramas and added one of them to the collection I posted earlier. I was happy to notice that Rob Galbraith had picked up the multimedia piece to his site – it’s always nice and an honor to get to share one’s work to a bit larger audience and colleagues.

Magnar Dalen meets the press.

Naturally, I follow the stats hitting my server – and everytime there is a site causing more traffic than usual, I get curious. Today I noticed that in addition to Rob Galbraith,  Daily Wireless was causing a peak… and found out that they were quoting something I had written a bit earlier. I was little bit ashamed because of the picture, as it was originally posted more as a joke (as you know, size does not matter…) but on the other hand, it is very rewarding to see that somebody considers things you do and write interesting and worth spreading further. But, I guess I have to start paying closer attention to my grammar and spelling….

I started by complaining that the Finns are doing really bad in these games –  and  frankly, it does get kind of frustrating shooting guys finishing at places ten to fifty… But: I think I did take one or two  decent pictures today. The Finnish X-country coach Magnar Dalen meeting the press: accusing looks, accusing gestures… explanations, explanations…

But,  now I have to go, I have a date with the women’s alpine team early in the morning .

An accusing finger to the coach?


  1. Bruce Peaker
    January 22, 2014

    Hi Kari, I just found your card and was reminded of this moment in the games, looked it up and found this piece still posted. Thank you for the cool experience, it is a fond moment in the games for me. As for hockey, after the world junior display I don’t think you have much to worry about in the future, talented players for sure.
    All the best in Sochi if your going, Peace.

  2. kkuukka
    January 22, 2014

    Bruce –

    how cool!!! So nice you looked me up. Yup, going to Sochi in about ten days. Looking forward to it – but I am afraid it’s going to be my last olympics, as the legacy media in this country is committing a suicide and we won’t be having any papers left in four years time.

    The most rewarding experience I feel I have gotten from these games (Sochi will be my 7th olympics) is the change of meeting some really nice people – you amongst them. I had forgotten the name, but often when I have given presentations about sports photography, I tell an anecdote of this quy in Canada who just volunteered to operate the remote for me.

    All the best, you made my day very special.


Leave a Reply