When we decided to run the Olympic series, we took the first risk. It was not yet clear that the Games were to be realized, but if we wanted to do it, we had to start now. We decided that the common thread would be a ceiling with the Olympic rings and the coronavirus. It was the month of April and the goal was extremely ambitious: 30 reports, one per sport with Spanish representation. It was mission impossible. We are in 20 and with many anecdotes. It is the intrahistory of this project.
Looking at the sky and the happy wind
Due to restrictions due to the pandemic, most of the reports had to be abroad. It was the case of our first trip to Madrid. We programmed four reports in the CAR but we could only access the exteriors. The cell phone indicated a storm at the times agreed with the four athletes. We only find an alternative in fencing. Carlos Llavador relocated the appointment to his life club. We take chances with each other and … bingo. The sun shone for ten minutes in each report. Enough. The wind did not help us in many of the reports. Our ceiling was light and unsupported, so there were not few photos that came out with the poster lying down. And if not ask Africa Zamorano, hiding behind holding the rings with the tips of her fingers in the report with Jèssica Vall and Joanllu Pons … the second, by the way, in which we tried to improve the first photo that did not he had just convinced Valentí Enrich, its author.
And speaking of wind, Banyoles is perfect for rowing because it doesn’t usually blow there, but you know about Murphy’s law. The day we went to perform the report with Aina Cid the wind was championship. Luckily the ampostine shirt is strong and the boat could hold just long enough for the photo to be perfect. From here to thank the poor students of the rowing class, who had to wait for us to finish. More pressure for the photographer, who ended up in a sea of sweat.
No material or clothing
Things are often taken for granted: mistake. You have to notify everything. There were several athletes who appeared as is. The karateka without karategi, the taekwondo player without a dobok, the boxer without gloves, the hockey players with a stick but without a ball or the swimmers without a swimsuit. Luckily, the athletes were able to solve it, we solved it in almost all cases and the result ended up being more than satisfactory.
With the ceiling in tow all day
The illusion that made us see the poster with the rings the day it arrived at the newspaper vanished instantly when we had to move. In the first taxi we took from the newsroom to Sants, the ceiling light did not fit in the trunk in any way. “We started well”, we commented with the photographer. Over the days we got the hang of it and it became the perfect screen to keep our distance from the taxi driver, whom we barely saw. Put in a garbage bag it was not easy to transport it on foot or on the AVE where, by the way, we almost left it on the first trip. Luckily we noticed immediately and ran up to rescue him. Without him we were nobody. I was part of the team. Although to be honest, on more than one occasion we want to lose sight of it.
On May 24 we return to Madrid. Four other reports await us: Carolina Marín, Jesús Tortosa, Fran Garrigós and Eduardo Álvarez Aznar. Little did we imagine that only one would end up being part of the Olympic series, although two of them were ‘recycled’. The first bad news comes to us on the 24th. Eduardo, with whom we had an appointment the next day, calls us to cancel it because he has to concentrate with the equestrian team. It was impossible to relocate it. Carolina impresses us in her training and takes care of us afterwards, but after four days an injury leaves her KO. Jesus is left out of the call in a totally incomprehensible way three days after having made the report. You couldn’t be more unlucky. Luckily Fran will be at the Games. The trip to Brunete was worth it and so was the effort of Cristina Cabaña, who by the way is also in Tokyo and sparred to make the photo a success.
Injuries that knock down our plans
Logically athletes want to arrive at the Tokyo event in full swingSo if they have little annoyances, they don’t risk the slightest bit. This was the case of gymnast Ray Zapata and skater Danny León. They arrive touched to our appointment and warn us that they will not be able to do great things. In Ray’s case, he surprises us with a jump that, while not spectacular for him, leaves us speechless. The result is perfectly reflected in the photo. I can’t imagine what he would have done in full capacity. Danny couldn’t offer us one of his flights at the skate park and we opted for a perch, although he couldn’t resist afterwards and skated without doing tricks.
Excursions, training and forgetfulness
Jofre Cullell meets us in a park in Santa Coloma de Farners where he usually trains. We ask that we want heaven in the photo and it does not cause us problems. He takes the bike and invites us to follow him. Valentí, with 10 kilos on his shoulders with his cameras, and a servant, with the ceiling and her platform sandals. Little do we imagine that it takes us on an excursion up the mountain. It is already July, so the photographer arrives bathed in a sea of sweat and I did not twist my ankle miraculously. Given the result, it was worth the comical situation.
It was not an excursion, but it was almost a training session that we made ‘Chuso’ García Bragado do. Five times he had to do the tour to make the photo look perfect. Luckily for him that is a piece of cake. No less than 50 km await you in sweltering heat in Tokyo.
We are in La Seu d’Urgell with David Llorente and Núria Vilarrubla. They tell us that we cannot take the photo in the water and when we find the solution, the flash does not fire. “The batteries!” Exclaims the photographer. The sweat washes over him again. He returns to the car suffering, he does not know if he has spare batteries, but yes, luckily, they were there to relieve his hot flash.
The reports that were impossible
Sometimes due to the impossibility of adjusting the agenda, others due to the restrictions of the covid, the competitions or the concentrations made many sports remain without a report. Heading to Paris we will try again.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.