With major events like the Olympics, the media coverage can be almost as crazy and hectic as the actual event itself. Now that the internet and new media have a key role in the process, Olympic media coverage had a game face change in Vancouver this past year. No longer were just traditional media journalists and photographers showing up to all the events, but also bloggers, new media activists, new school photographers and everyone who had a camera on their phone. Whether it was from the official hashtag of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games (#van2010), to the IOC welcoming the Flickr community of Vancouver with open arms to the lightning flash news service that was Twitter during the month of February, Vancouver revolutionarily changed the way people watched and participated in the Olympic Games.
Static Photography was extremely busy during the month of February plus a few weeks before. Photographer Kris Krüg had been working in anticipation of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics for many years. From photographing the acceptance ceremony 5 years ago, then travelling to Torino to shoot the 2006 Winter Olympics and then to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Kris has been sharpening his Olympic lens for years. While the Olympics was in Vancouver the studio was extra staffed for all of the events and footage that Kris photographed. Some of the clients were shooting for were Microsoft, Xerox and BC Tourism.
During the Olympics Kris photographed:
- Whistler Sliding Centre
- USA vs. Norway Men's Hockey
- IOC Flickr meetup
- Matisyahu at Livecity
- Opening ceremonies at the German House
- Kerplunks at Robson Square
- Muk Muk Rally
- ING Direct Olympic Tweetup
- VX Pavilion
- Bronze Medal Men's Hockey
- DOA at the Rickshaw
- AND Festival at W2 Culture + Media House
- Canada vs. Slovakia Women's Hockey
- Vancouver House
- BC Pavilion
- W2 Media + Culture House
- the Olympic torch at Vancouver City Hall
- Heart Attack protest
- Whistler Olympic Park torch relay
- Whistler Olympic torch relay Celebration
- Poverty Olympics
- VX Forum/Digi BC in Vancouver
- Olympic Resistance Network
- 'Fire with Fire' Cultural Olympiad installation at W2 Culture + Media House
- Canada Hockey Place - Olympic Venue
- Richmond Oval - Olympic Venue
- Beatty Street mural
- Streb: RAW show for the 2010 Cultural Olympiad
- press conference with Johnny Weir
- CODE Live Venues
- the Olympic Welcoming Party protest
- Prince George Olympic Torch Relay
It's tiring just to say everything the studio and Kris did during the Olympics! The month was fast paced and there was little sleep to be had but the Olympic Games brought on that kind of momentum for media and journalists. Static Photography had client work with specific people but most of the coverage was spurred by Kris just going out and shooting every single day. No matter what event it was, and there were a lot of them every day, he was there documenting the people, the atmosphere and the Olympic experience. Even when the experience was adherently against the Olympics, Kris was right in the thick of the action, even getting knocked up by police shields during a protest. The Olympic journey for a host city is not across the board positive and most of the time journalists will choose to report on just one side. Kris chose to document both sides for a well rounded lens into the real experience of an Olympic host city.
With the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London the pressure is on for this next games to take what was learned in Vancouver and utilize new media resources with gusto. Vancouver was super hesitant to accredit bloggers and other non-traditional media journalists which was part of the reasoning for the creation of True North Media House. TNMH was a non-linear media house with the pure mission of just documenting the games. All TNMH accreditation was self accreditation, which meant that if you wanted a TNMH badge then you created one. The response was overwhelming with the amount of covering coming from TNMH rivalling other media houses. This theory of citizen journalism was tried and proven successful in Vancouver with hopes of a successful adoption during London in 2012.
Kris Krüg will be heading to Liverpool in a few weeks to speak at the AND (Abandon Normal Devices) Festival in October. Alongside Malcolm Levy, who spearheaded CODE, the Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition, and Dave Olson, from True North Media house, Kris will speak to the successes and failures of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and will discuss viable options for the 2012 event in London that would include new media strategies and proper coverage. In addition Professor Andy Miah, Jennifer Jones and Ana Adi will be speaking at the festival on the cultural impacts that London will face during the Olympics and the research they collected during their extensive visit to Vancouver this past February.
The internet and its new technology has really changed the game of how we produce and consume our news. This does not exclude the Olympic Games which is one of the most highly watched events in the world. The IOC was not quick enough to recognize the power of the internet, claiming that it was the second biggest threat to the Olympics in general. Ironically Kris always stands by the claim that if you didn't stick it on the internet, it didn't happen. This is an effort to express that sharing words, images, videos and news on the internet in real time gives greater access to a larger audience than ever before. This truth is a hard learned lesson for such a large event as the Olympic Games.
The internet is not a threat when it is a used as a production and sharing tool. So start documenting your Olympic documentation!
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