A dedicated team of Getty Images photographers worked around the clock to deliver breathtaking photos of the Winter Olympics. Seven of them shared their favorite photos from the second week and took us behind the scenes of the world’s biggest spectacle.
Our weekly roundups of the best sports photos from Getty Images are some of the most interesting features you’ll find here on FanSided, particularly because of the insights and detailed commentary provided by the photographers who actually took them.
Here seven photographers from their Olympic team share some of their favorite shots and share about the experience of trying to photograph the best athletes in the world.
Z-Zone – Maddie Meyer (ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA)
The Olympics is one of my favorite sporting events to cover. I feel lucky to be here in
Zhangjiakou covering Cross Country, Biathlon, Slopestyle, Halfpipe, Ski Jumping, and Aerials. The
Olympics feels more like a celebration of sport to me than the usual leagues I cover back home in
Boston. There aren’t heckling fans or as many long-standing rivalries but displays of sportsmanship and respect between athletes who compete in comparatively niche sports.
The biggest logistical challenge we face here in the Z-Zone is the cold. We’re working long days in
negative temperatures, which is hard on our bodies and on our equipment. My first concern is keeping my body warm, once my fingers get too cold it becomes really difficult to use the camera.
My second concern is keeping the technology working as it should. Our lenses form frost on them, our ethernet cables become brittle and stiff, and batteries drain very quickly. Once I know my hands and camera will work, then onto the images! We begin each assignment by assigning positions as a group, we have been working in teams of between three and five people.
Emotions run high at these events. There is so much pressure on the athletes as the Olympics only come around once every four years. Some are able to make it to multiple, but for so many, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The mental aspect has always been fascinating to me, and images with a window into what an athlete is feeling I find powerful. For example, this image I made following the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final of Shaun White. He announced it was his final Olympic Games as a competitor and broke down while giving interviews. Watching him process turning the page on one chapter of his life getting ready for another was a powerful moment.
The other images show the speed and grit of the athletes. The first is of Thea Minyan Bjoerseth of Team Norway preparing to jump during a training session, and the second is of biathlon athletes making their way through a snowy course.
Shaun White of Team United States shows emotion after finishing fourth during the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final on day 7 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on February 11, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. White competed in five Winter Olympic Games and had announced Beijing 2022 will be the last one of his career. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Anton Sinapov of Team Bulgaria, Anton Dudchenko of Team Ukraine, Jakub Stvrtecky of Team Czech Republic and Adam Vaclavik of Team Czech Republic compete during the Biathlon Men’s 12.5km Pursuit on Day 9 of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Biathlon Centre on February 13, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.
Thea Minyan Bjoerseth of Team Norway prepares to jump during the Women’s Normal Hill official Training at Zhangjiakou National Ski Jumping Centre on February 3, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.
Y Zone – Tom Pennington (YANQING, CHINA)
My role here has been based solely on covering Alpine ski racing. I lead a team of extremely
talented photographers as we tailor our coverage based on the storyline, specific weather conditions, course set and racing discipline each day. We start the day off scouting the steep and icy racecourse by skiing it top to bottom, looking for the ideal contour of the terrain taking into consideration how the racers will approach each section of the course set. We are looking to mesh the very demanding parts of the course with clean backgrounds and nice lighting conditions.
One of these locations produced one of my favorite images of Team USA’s skier Isabella Wright. The image was captured as Wright sets a hard edge around a gate above a treacherous 65-degree steep pitch. The dynamic position and the snow and ice contrasted against the cobalt blue sky help convey the raw power the athletes have.
Another image I captured near the area of the racecourse was of Team USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin launching off a blind bump in the course while navigating the course at speeds of over 70 mph. This was a new racecourse for all the athletes, so the racing line was not well known and established. With the racing line being inconsistent each racer would come into our view in a different location and different racing position. For us photographers, being ready for this required an immense amount of concentration in the extremely cold conditions. All of that concentration paid off when Shiffrin exploded off the blind jump and was captured against the deep blue sky.
One of my favorite images from the Olympics was created while taking a different approach for the day. I decided to go search out a position off-course where I could shoot through the trees that surround parts of the racecourse. To find the best location, I skied the racecourse looking for an area that had the necessary terrain, right density of trees and preferred lighting conditions. After some scouting and hiking around, I found an area where the ski racers would be in the correct body position needed. For this image, I used a slow panning technique tracking the ski racers at 1/30th of a second to blur the trees while keeping the racer perfectly sharp in the frame. All of these elements combine to create a unique look that implies the high speeds the racers are reaching while on course.
Another standout image for me is of Team France’s skier Mathieu Faivre competing along the edge of dark shadows on the racecourse. The shadows create a visual look while capturing the peak action of Faivre rounding the gate.
Isabella Wright of Team United States skis during the Women’s Downhill 3rd Training on day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Alpine Ski Centre on February 14, 2022, in Yanqing, China.
Mikaela Shiffrin of Team United States skis during the Women’s Downhill 3rd Training on day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Alpine Ski Centre on February 14, 2022, in Yanqing, China.
Lara Gut-Behrami of Team Switzerland skis during the Women’s Downhill 1st Training on day eight of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Alpine Ski Centre on February 12, 2022, in Yanqing, China.
Mathieu Faivre of Team France skis during the Mixed Team Parallel 1/4 final on day 16 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Alpine Ski Centre on February 20, 2022, in Yanqing, China.
Y Zone – Alex Pantling (YANQING, CHINA)
These Winter Olympic Games have been my first experience of covering an Olympics so far
and also my first experience of shooting winter sports. Not surprisingly, there have been many challenges along the way, most notably the weather conditions. Being based up in the mountains, I’ve been covering Alpine Skiing alongside Luge, Skeleton and Bobsleigh. My first taste of Alpine was traveling up to the start house of the Men’s Downhill on one of the training days. Working with several cameras and a variety of lenses at a football match back home can be a challenge but when you are put into crazy cold temperatures and winds on a sheet of ice at over 2000m, it was like nothing I had experienced before. The conditions at The National Sliding Centre in Yanqing were a lot more bearable but liked the variety of both venues.
What I’ve loved about covering sliding events is that it’s like nothing I have ever shot before. Which for me has been a great opportunity to try new techniques and skillsets that I wouldn’t usually do in other sports. In addition to having dedicated photo positions in parts of the track like the start and finish, I found that there are also several creative opportunities in a venue like this one. Photographers were free to roam the area and look for new angles and shadows to get creative.
Matthias Mayer of Team Austria reacts as they cross the finish line during the Men’s Super-G on day four of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Alpine Ski Centre on February 8, 2022 in Yanqing, China.
Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian of Team Jamaica slides during Women’s Monobob Official Training Heat 2 at The National Sliding Centre on February 10, 2022, in Beijing, China. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Jinyong Park and Jung Myung Cho of Team South Korea slide during the Men’s Doubles Luge training run 2 on day two of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Sliding Centre on February 6, 2022, in Yanqing, China.
B Zone — Catherine Ivill (BEIJING, CHINA)
I’ve been based in Beijing and have had the chance to shoot all of the sports in the city which has been great and certainly keeps you on your toes. This is my first Olympic Winter Games, and we have an incredibly talented team at Getty Images, so advice and support are never far away. It has
had its challenges due to COVID and we have been working in a closed-loop system, but the volunteers here have been amazing, and it has been great to have a friendly welcome when arriving at venues.
I’ve loved shooting all of the sports, although figure skating, speed skating and the freestyle at the Big Air have been my favorites. All of the venues have different positions to shoot from and it has been great being able to get different angles and perspectives.
Short-track speed skating is very fast-paced which comes with its dangers for the athletes. The large pads around the rink protect the athletes when they crash which is pretty often. The Big Air competition was amazing. I spent a long time trying to get a picture on one of the rare snowy days in Beijing when the athletes were training. I love this photo because it looks like the snowboarder is standing on the Games logo.
Figure skating is a beautiful sport and has been my overall favorite sport to shoot here, however it had been overshadowed by stories of doping. I can’t imagine the pressure that Kamila Valieva felt at the final as a 15-year-old. It didn’t work out for her during her final skate and while this image may not show her at peak performance, it tells the story of the past two weeks in Beijing as it’s really important that we document the event as a whole.
Jasmine Baird of Canada performs a trick during a Snowboard Big Air training session on day 9 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Big Air Shougang on February 13, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Kamila Valieva of Team ROC reacts after skating during the Women Single Skating Free Skating on day thirteen of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 17, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Shaolin Sandor Liu of Team Hungary reacts after a collision during the Men’s 1000m Final A on day three of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 07, 2022 in Beijing, China.
B Zone — Dean Mouhtaropoulos (BEIJING, CHINA)
First, I am very aware of the privilege it is to work at the Olympics for Getty Images. I get messages from sports photographers all over the world asking questions and saying nice words about my images from events like this. These Games have been very different to other major events, mainly due to the pandemic. Access to the city is heavily restricted so moving around between venues and even eating, apart from the venue and media center provided food, is something we are not used to.
Picture-wise, I am the lead photographer for Long Track Speedskating, and the venue is amazing to work at. The light and access to move around were much freer than I had anticipated. I was allowed on the infield which makes very different images to working on the outside. My favorite photos have been a combination of slow shutter action, isolating the athletes and cleaning up the messy backgrounds, empty stadiums to showcase the moment in time, as well as reactions from athletes winning gold medals. There is just as much emotion during the Olympic Games then action and you can see here the pure joy for the Irene Schouten of Team Netherlands and tears and gratitude on the podium from Erin Jackson of Team USA.
The blue and bright orange glasses on Davide Ghiotto of Team Italy made a nice photo with the
blue/green of the stadium and the USA suits in the Men’s Team Pursuit race stood out, almost like
superhero uniforms, as they won the Bronze medal. As a Dutch resident, I photograph long track on a regular basis, I now know more than I thought I ever would know about the sport. Having this prior knowledge has helped in getting the most from this venue and event.
Irene Schouten of Team Netherlands celebrates after winning the Gold medal in a new Olympic record time of 6:43.51 during the Women’s 5000m on day six of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Speed Skating Oval on February 10, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Team United States with Casey Dawson, Emery Lehman and Joey Mantia skate during the Men’s Team Pursuit Final B on day eleven of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Speed Skating Oval on February 15, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Gold medallist Erin Jackson of Team United States reacts during the Women’s 500m medal ceremony on Day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Medal Plaza on February 14, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Davide Ghiotto of Team Italy skates during the Men’s 10000m on day seven of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Speed Skating Oval on February 11, 2022, in Beijing, China.
B Zone – Elsa Garrison (BEIJING, CHINA)
My Olympic experience during the second week has been covering the city events in
Beijing: Curling, Ice Hockey, Free Style Skiing Big Air and Figure Skating. Most of my final week focused on covering Ice Hockey, which being a native Minnesotan is second nature to me. The Women’s Gold Medal match between Canada and the United States came down to the wire as did the Gold Medal match between Finland and Team ROC. As Team Finland was posing for a team picture with their gold medals, Team ROC walked behind them slowly as if to photobomb their team picture.
I had never shot Freestyle Snowboarding before, and I have to say it was incredible. I was positioned at the kicker which is the area from which they launch. I set up a remote camera in front of the kicker framing it with the Olympic rings and would trigger the camera as they took off. I stood nearby and shot images with a blue sky as the backdrop and also used the scenery around me to try and show just how high they flew into the air. This was one of my few outdoor events and I was lucky that it wasn’t as cold as some of my coworkers have experienced on the Alpine and Nordic venues.
While these Games were unlike any other and I cherished this opportunity to witness and record history, most of my viewing of Beijing and the surrounding areas were by bus on my way to events. There were limited local fans and it was actually nice to hear cheering at the figure skating as China won gold in the Pairs Free Skating event.
Max Parrot of Team Canada performs a trick during the Men’s Snowboard Big Air final on Day 11 of the Beijing Winter Olympics at Big Air Shougang on February 15, 2022 in Beijing, China.
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of Team China react after skating during the Pair Skating Free Skating on day fifteen of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 19, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Members of Gold medallist Team Finland pose during the Men’s Ice Hockey medal ceremony on Day 16 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2022 in Beijing, China. Team Finland defeated Team ROC 2-1.
Nina Roth of Team United States looks on during the Women’s Curling Round Robin Session against Team Korea on Day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Aquatics Centre on February 14, 2022, in Beijing, China.
B Zone – Bruce Bennett (BEIJING, CHINA)
I am strictly covering ice hockey at Getty Images. It’s my passion, my vocation and my
avocation, as well as my life’s work. In this, my sixth Olympic Games, I still complain about the
temperature in the arena as it is always colder at the Olympic venues than at the NHL rinks, I frequent during the hockey season. Yes, it is hard to complain about the temperature which averages 57 degrees (14 C), when my co-workers are suffering the elements up in the mountains.
But in both the coverage venues, Wukesong and the National Indoor Stadium, I have ‘warmed up’ to the atmosphere, the slightly cooler temps, the photo positions, and shooting games without the presence of the NHL players for these Games.
The Olympic spirit and competitive desire of athletes and teams translate well to photography and
our game plan to capture the best moments. To help with this, diagrams and drawings are key to our coverage plan daily throughout the Games, with one to four photographers covering each event. These drawings are a necessity for me and help me visualize what our plan is.
On some days, one photographer would shoot games with the aid of up to six remote cameras that provide us with angles that sometimes cannot be duplicated with live bodies. We have also added a few robotic cameras to the arsenal and those can be adjusted for different angles of coverage and can also be triggered from our office in the Main Media Center miles away, or by the photographers on location.
Thousands of images stream into our edited team from our handheld cameras, as well as from the
remotes and the editors are tasked with finding those needles in the haystack that best represent our work.
The largest difference between my work here as contrasted to that at home is that at the Olympics we shoot at ice level through the glass, whereas in NHL rinks we have holes to shoot through. That difference is huge. There are so many photographers here that if everyone had a hole the glass would look like Swiss cheese and pucks would be flying out of the rink every two minutes. We deal with the occasional distortion trying to avoid rough patches of glass, and I heap some of those problems on to the editors to fix where they can. I found that standing instead of sitting gives me a cleaner less-distorted view, so I stand for the two or three games a day.
As for the Games themselves, I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the women’s hockey games and love the contrast to the way the men’s games are played. Speed is key in both, and the men’s games are played with let’s say, a touch more physicality and the women’s with much more sportsmanship, but both with an equal desire to become Olympic champions.
Team Canada celebrates their gold medals after winning the Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal match between Team Canada and Team United States on Day 13 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 17, 2022, in Beijing, China.
The team of Team Czech Republic huddles ahead of the Women’s Preliminary Round Group B match at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 7, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Rebecca Johnston of Team Canada scores a goal against goalkeeper Andrea Braendli of Team Switzerland during the second period of the Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B match between Sweden and Japan at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 3, 2022, in Beijing, China.
Shimisi Jieruimi of Team China misses the puck in the second period of the game against Team United States during the Men’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A match on Day 6 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Indoor Stadium on February 10, 2022, in Beijing, China.
https://fansided.com/2022/02/23/winter-olympics-best-photos-getty-images-week-2/ Winter Olympics Getty Images Photo Diary: Week 2