Pan American Games Wrap up: There’s No Place Like Home

August 2, 2007 | By Harry How | Creative

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Harry How/Getty Images

Dana Ellis of Canada competes in the Women’s Pole Vault final during at the Joao Havelange Stadium on July 23, 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On one of my many taxi rides home one evening, my English speaking cabbie said to me, “Are you enjoying Rio?” I thought about my photos, my beach front hotel, caipirinhas and grilled meats, but didn’t yet answer.

It usually takes about 2 weeks for the excitement of any games to wear off. It’s when the best venues are figured out, when you’re fed up with having to argue for photo positions, when tired is replaced by exhaustion and when I begin to crave a Chipotle burrito.

Like everything we do in life, the people around you can make a bad situation better and a good situation great. Denis Lacerda from our Getty Images Sao Paulo office was the fix it man and had a great laugh. Just hearing him say “rotel” instead of “hotel” and pronounce the “h” in “honest” can unexpectedly brighten anyone’s 18 hour day.

Camilla and Leo of the Brazil Olympic Committee helped us throughout the logistics and energized our week with a night of Samba. My fellow photographers Jeff Gross, Streeter Lecka and Donald Miralle were with me throughout the games. I consider these men friends before colleagues.

Most of all, I got to spend time with my favorite person – Rebecca Butala. She organizes, edits, inspires, supports and endures me in this crazy lifestyle that we share.

I answered my cabbie, “Even the charm of paradise can fade on a business trip.”

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One of my highlights of the games was when I had a chance to take a ride in the broadcast helicopter in time for the men’s road cycling final. This was shot overlooking Copacabana Beach as the peleton rode down Avenue Atlantica.

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