Getting Ready for Beijing

July 24, 2008 | By Maxx Wolfson | Olympics, Sport

A cyclist passes an Olympic billboard in Beijing on July 23, 2008. (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

In just about four days the majority of the 78 member Getty Images Olympic team will head to Beijing for 30 days for the Games. These next four days will be spent gathering equipment, packing, repacking, running errands and most importantly spending time with family and friends. For me, I also have to deal with moving out of my condo that I have lived in for a couple years and putting all my stuff into a storage unit. So, it has been and is going to be, a couple stressful days. However, once I find my seat on the 14-hour flight from LAX to Hong Kong and the subsequent 3-hour flight to Beijing, hopefully some of that stress will fall away.

This will be my first Olympic Games and will also be my first time to China and I couldn’t be more excited to see how it all goes down. Between the exhilaration of covering the Olympics and the experience of living in a new country for a month, the anxiety over the last month has been unreal. I’m sure times will be tough – long days, dealing with being away from loved ones, China – but in the end I’m sure it will be an experience that I will forever treasure.

Being that we will be away from home and our loved ones for 30 days I asked some of our experienced Getty Images team members what they bring with them to remind them of home or an item they can’t live without. Here is what they said:

Streeter Lecka (Photographer) – I can’t sleep without a fan so I always bring a little fan with me to have in my room.

Mary Ciecek (IOC editor) – Whenever I have long trips, I make sure to bring my favorite soap and my favorite shampoo and conditioner so it feels like I am still at home and I don’t have to use the free stuff. I have also brought my favorite picture of my brothers and sisters in a frame and put it on my nightstand during my past two Olympics and I will bring it to China as well as a picture of me and my boyfriend.

Chris Graythen (IOC photographer) – I’m going to be a bringing a Team Waffle House shirt given to me by our NASCAR photographers to remind me of what I get to shoot once I get home from Beijing (“They are just jealous.”), I’m also going to bring a video camera so I can chat with my wife.

Scott Halleran (IOC photographer) – I always try to bring two different kinds of vodka, one of them flavored and the other original.

Rebecca Butala-How (Editor) – I’d say my top three are my travel mug for my herbal teas, speakers for my two IPODS (a nano to workout with and a video 60gb which has my full library) and my neck pillow for the plane. And finally, my husband Harry How (sports photographer).

Al Bello (Photographer) – Pictures of my family.  My webcam so I could see my family.

Harry How (Photographer) – I ALWAYS bring a Lonely Planet  guide of the city we are visiting for quick facts, restaurant suggestions, maps and carry it with me the whole time.

Myself (Editor) – I am going to bring the care package my girlfriend is making me for the trip.

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