Youth Olympic Games – Singapore 2010

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YOG is over. Gone in a flash. And as Alan describes, he’s experiencing withdrawal symptoms. What should we do with ourselves now? You wake up the next day in shock after 11 gruelling non-stop days of action. We’ve fallen into such a hectic routine of wake-shoot-sleep-wake-shoot-sleep, we’ve lost count of days, ignored the backaches, plunged into a world of F-stops and AF functions, I think we’re half-robots now.

I was in the pool of photographers under the Singapore Press Holdings-Youth Olympic Games Committee, which works as the Host News Agency (HNA), feeding images to newspapers and media all over the world.

We’ve been so accustomed to getting through channels of security and equipment scans, it feels empty being able to walk the streets without getting checked.

On the last day, last match, last 10 mins of the men’s finals match between Egypt and Korea, I was left with a souvenir that would last till now. A handball came flying straight into my lens from a blind corner. The impact, which was a very loud “Pock!” split my lens-hood into two, ripped the lens grip, and luckily only smeared the protective filter, not the lens. I started bleeding profusely from the forehead and the world started churning. I could only think of looking down to check if my camera was still working, or I’d be really pissed.

The volunteer from the emergency medical post ran over but didn’t know what to do with me. Fellow photog Edwin offered a piece of tissue while others gathered and some took pictures. Didn’t know if I should laugh or cry Alan asked if I got the shot. “Of what?”I replied. “Of the ball flying towards you.”

In the end, a doctor glued the cut up and I’m walking around with a plaster stuck to my brow at least for the next week. He calls me Harry Potter.

That aside, I’m wondering when the time will come again to be among a large pool of photographers shooting for a major sports event. Hearing our cameras click in synchronisation of ‘the right moment’, and gawking at the pictures afterwards creates extreme job satisfaction. On top of that, it’s the only time we all get to wear these ugly but utilitarian photographers’ vests with large pockets without feeling too embarrassed or geeky.

It’s also great to see my pictures appearing randomly on the Chicago Times and on The Boston Globe’s Big Picture site.

Here are some of my pictures to share.

Those who didn’t feel excited about the YOG really should have gotten themselves tickets to catch the athletes in action. It was allll worth its while.

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