With snow falling in many parts of the world and Olympic athletes preparing for the challenges of Rio in August, we thought it would be a great time to check in with Jed Jacobsohn. He took the Pro Trekker to Russia during the most-recent Olympic Winter Games and shares a bit of the behind-the-scenes action that took place. Check out his guest post and iconic imagery of athletes pushing the limits and enjoying their moments. Enjoy!
(Feature image caption) Freestyle Skiing: 2014 Winter Olympics: France Jean Frederic Chapuis (green), France Arnaud Bovolenta (blue), France Jonathan Midol (yellow), and Canada Brady Leman (red) in action during Men’s Ski Cross Big Final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Chapuis (green) gold, Bovolenta won silver, and Midol won bronze. Krasnaya Polyana, Russia 2/20/2014 CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Sports Illustrated)
I was covering my fourth Olympic Winter Games, this time for Sports Illustrated. My assignment was mainly to cover the “mountain” sports at Sochi, which included all the ski disciplines.
Freestyle Skiing: 2014 Winter Olympics: Zhongqing Liu (1) of China in action during Men’s Aerials Qualifications at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Krasnaya Polyana, Russia 2/17/2014 CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Sports Illustrated)
Every day, I packed my Pro Trekker 450 AW with two Canon 1DX models (either with a 600mm or 400mm depending on the event) and two-to-three smaller lenses, computer and various other pieces. In addition, I would have all my gear, including skis, as you needed to ski to your spot on the mountain where you were going to shoot from in order to cover the events.
Typically before a ski race, I would take the lift up to be in place two hours before the race starts, which was typically at 9am. Normally, I would drop my pack at the start of the race hill and inspect the course to figure out the best spot to shoot from, then ski to the bottom, take the lift back up, grab my pack (which weighed around 35 or 40 pounds) then go to the chosen spot.
Alpine Skiing: 2014 Winter Olympics: USA Bode Miller (16) in action during Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center. Miller finished in 20th place. Krasnaya Polyana, Russia 2/19/2014 CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn)
The morning of the first women’s race I went through my normal routine and dropped my Pro Trekker at the top of the course and went for inspection. Upon return to the top of the hill we found a half dozen very nervous-looking Russian security guards surrounding my bag. I approached very warily, credentials in hand, immediately recognizing there was an issue.
Alpine Skiing: 2014 Winter Olympics: Closeup of USA Mikaela Shiffrin (6) victorious with American flag after winning Women’s Slalom gold at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center. Krasnaya Polyana, Russia 2/21/2014 CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Sports Illustrated)
They explained to me that they were very close to having the bomb disposal unit destroy my unattended bag! I apologized profusely and embarrassingly skied away. Needless to say, my bag never left my site from then on.
Speed Skating: 2014 Winter Olympics: Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands in action during Women’s 1500M at Adler Arena Skating Center. Sochi, Russia 2/16/2014 CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn /Sports Illustrated)
View more of Jed’s Olympic portfolio on his site and Loweprofessional page. And check out The Players’ Tribune–a new media platform that serves up fresh content, straight from the voices of athletes (Jed serves as the senior staff photographer).
Snowboarding: 2014 Winter Olympics: USA Charles Guldemond in action during Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle qualifying at PSX – Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Krasnaya Polyana, Russia 2/6/2014 CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Sports Illustrated)
Bobsleigh: 2014 Winter Olympics: Patrice Servelle of Monaco pilots a run during a Men’s Two-man Bobsleigh training session on day 6 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Sports Illustrated)