Throughout the Olympics Getty Images maintains a blog, sharing spectacular photographs and the stories behind them. Here, we’ve compiled some of the best photographs from past olympics games along with their stories.
Be sure to follow their blog throughout this years games. I can’t wait to see what stories and photographs London 2012 brings!
Victor Covalenco competing in the Men’s Decathlon Long Jump final. Al Bello photographed this from the roof of Beijing’s Birdcage stadium.
“That’s why I scouted out the roof for the position I wanted. But that was an ordeal in itself. To get there, I was strapped to a climber’s harness. And all my equipment had to be strapped around my neck – imagine a camera lens falling on someone from that height and you soon understand why!”
Anastasiya Kapustina of Belarus skating in the Ladies 3000m Speed Skating. Photographed by Julian Finney.
“With the sun moving during every race, I had to adjust my position and hope she made a good shape in the area of light. I was shooting from the spectators stand and needed some extra height so I climbed a little higher. After many laps of failed attempts it finally lined up just right.”
Azza Besbes of Tunisia celebrates winning a round of Fencing. Photographed by Clive Brunskill.
“I heard the crowd getting excited but it was hard to see the scoreboard from the cat walk. So I ran carefully across and put my camera through the iron girders of the roof. That’s how I got her, perfectly in frame, with the rings!”
Elena Isinbaeva of Russia celebrates a new World Record of 5.05 in the Women’s Pole Vault Final. Photographed by Harry How.
“Her unobstructed reaction and the position of the pole were so lucky. The fact that it was a world record and won her the gold medal makes the photo even more meaningful as it epitomizes Olympic competition.”
Photographed by Tara Moore during the opening ceremony of Beijing’s 2008 Olympics.
Men’s 200m freestyle heat during the 2004 Athens games. Photographed by Adam Pretty.
“The Ian Thorpe and Pieter van Den Hoogenband race came on. They were massive rivals, so there was an incredible tension which you could really feel in the atmosphere of the venue. I’m so happy I managed to capture it. I got a real sharpness in the frame, making it a nice graphic picture.”
Michael Phelps celebrating with his family, photographed by Ezra Shaw.
“We were only allowed one lens with us at a time for safety reasons, so I went to exchange my 500mm lens for a wider 70-200mm. With the smaller lens in hand, I positioned myself above Phelps’ mother and two sisters – thinking he might wave to them from the pool side.”
Huo Liang of China competes during the Men’s 10m Platform Final diving event. Photographed by Shaun Botterill.
Igor Potapovich of Kazakhstan soars through the flame-lit sky to claim fourth in the pole vault in the 1996 Atlanta games. Photographed by Mike Hewitt.
“A number of photographers went right under the pole vault bar shooting up on wide angle lenses but I’d noticed the religious symbolism of the cross bar supports. And Atlanta was unusual in that it didn’t have a wrap around roof so you could line up the Olympic flame in the picture.”
Usain Bolt pausees to kiss his golden running shoes after winning the 100m final. Photographed by Ryan Pierse.
“As many of the photographers downed cameras to transmit the image of Bolt crossing the line, winning in World Record time, I moved slightly up the track to where nobody else was waiting. Once Bolt completed his victory lap, he removed his golden running shoes right in front of me, turned to the side and kissed them.”
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