(Updated: image gallery 28.1.2011 at noon)
Yup, that’s it. That’s what I did today. And what I will do tomorrow. And the day after…
Sure, I will be covering some of the other events as well, but there is no question where the focus will be. Not that I am complaining – on the contrary. She is a pure joy to photograph – and I enjoy every minute of it.
One of my favorite athletes to work with – and I thought I make it a bit more personal by sharing one memory of her which will never be forgotten: 2009 and the Helsinki European Championships.
In front of the home audience she falls during her free program and hurts herself. The music fades out, she skates to her coach, brushing tears away… And in one or two minutes she manages to pull herself back together and restarts her program – and skates through it beautifully.
I was watching her and the coach talking to each other thru a 600mm lens… she was 20 years old at the time. I’ve seen Olympic medals lost and won in several games by numerous athletes, I have seen joy and desperation thru the lens in more venues I can remember…One tends to get used to it. But never, ever have I seen such mastery of emotions and concentration – by a fragile kid of barely 20 years old – in front of over 10 000 fans holding their breath, all the Tv-cams pointing at her…
Watching her thru my lens I had to adjust the shutter speed to prevent it from shaking – while trying to hold the tears back myself.
So, today she is 22…. and I really wish she makes it big over here. She would deserve it.