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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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August 4, 2008 11:23 PM

Olympics: Pretty at Night.

Posted by Rod Mar

There have been dress rehearsals going on for the Opening Ceremonies here over the past couple of weeks, and the one last Saturday was reported to have featured a grand fireworks exhibit that will not only include the National Stadium (where the ceremony is being held) but also much of the surrounding parts of the city.

Like many other photographers, I was armed with a camera hoping to make a nice fireworks feature in advance of the big night.

Of course, there's no way the Planners-That-Be were going to share any more visuals (doing so would seriously dilute the effect on Friday night), so there were no fireworks.

There were a couple of upsides to the night however. I did get to take a peaceful walking tour of the nearby venues.

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August 4, 2008 6:53 PM

Olympics: Lucked Out Looking for Locke.

Posted by Rod Mar

After our harrowing escape from the village thugs, Times reporter Kristi Heim and I were passing through the Main Press Center back at the Olympic Green.

As we passed an internet cafe, we saw the Olympic Torch relay being shown on live television. "Hey!", remarked Kristi, "I think Gary Locke is carrying the torch today in Chengdu -- that would have been cool to see! I wonder what time he runs?"

Busy as we were, I laughed and jokingly said, "What are the odds we'd see him?".

And I swear, not more than 10 seconds later, we both gasped and laughed because indeed, former Washington governor Gary Locke was carrying the torch for his 200 meter share as the flame passed through Chengdu, China. And it was LIVE.

I fussed to grab a camera and made a couple of quick frames.

We can't get our internet connections arranged (hey, it's always fun spending two hours sitting in a bank at the Olympics) or my Times-issued cellphone to work (it's locked, it's unlocked, it's not working I know that for sure), but we did see the one person we knew out of 300 torch runners today in Chengdu.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

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August 4, 2008 6:26 PM

Olympics: Thugs, Not Hugs.

Posted by Rod Mar

Kristi Heim, one of our business writers, and myself were in a remote part of Beijing working on a story all day. The story has yet to run so I won't share any more about it. But as we were visiting some of our subjects, a group of three men found us. One of our group, a local Mandarin speaker, intercepted them and tried to explain our presence in their neighborhood, but it didn't seem to satisfy them as they used their mere presence to try to make us nervous.

Neither Kristi nor I are easily intimidated, but for the safety of our subjects, who would still live there after our assignment was completed, we did leave.

These men, apparently the neighborhood "protectors" (not sure if they were self-appointed or not), followed us as we walked the six or so blocks back to the main road.

While I'm sure these toughs could make life miserable for farming peasants, you have to agree they don't strike too much fear. Especially with that whole bare midriff thing going on.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to rock that look when I get back stateside, so ya'll have been warned.

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Recent entries

Aug 4, 08 - 11:23 PM
Olympics: Pretty at Night.

Aug 4, 08 - 06:53 PM
Olympics: Lucked Out Looking for Locke.

Aug 4, 08 - 06:26 PM
Olympics: Thugs, Not Hugs.







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