You’ve seen the reports that journalists are arriving at their hotels in Sochi, Russia, to cover the Olympics, only to find conditions there are less than what they expected.

You’ve seen that one report from a journalist from the Chicago Tribune who was warned by folks in her hotel not to drink the tapwater or to even let her touch her face.

And perhaps you’ve seen tweets having a little fun with those reports.

The OC Register has its own guy in Sochi this month: Veteran photographer Mark Rightmire. Here he is, shooting a selfie during his overnight stay in Frankfurt, Germany.


Have you ever wondered what kind of equipment a photographer might take to the Olympics? I built this little graphic from a picture Mark made in Germany of the contents of his bag:


Of course, there is one camera body, one lens and a few other items missing there — Mostly because Mark used them to shoot the picture.

Mark’s only been there a few days but he’s already sending back some terrific stuff.

That one is a construction worker waving from the roof of the Bolshoy Ice Dome, the hockey venue. We used that one on the front of sports on Tuesday.

I’ve not heard of many horror stories from Mark, so I presume he’s settling in well in Sochi. He did, however, tell us one funny story from his layover…

During the overnight stop in Frankfurt, I found myself in a most perplexing situation. With my bag checked to Sochi, I had nothing but my camera gear and a toothbrush with me. I needed some toothpaste and went to the airport pharmacy.

Tired and back in my room, I couldn’t figure out how to open the tube. I hadn’t brought anything sharp. Finally I just poked a hole in it with my belt buckle.

Later while Skyping with my wife, she told me that if I had just turned over the top it would have unscrewed the small lid inside off.

Mark’s wife, by the way, is Karen Kelso — the Register‘s design team leader.

That little tale — and the selfie and a few other nice shots — were published on my Focus page in today’s Register. Click for a much larger view:


The two women on the airplane are members of the Canadian delegation. On the right is the director of communications for Skate Canada. On the left — knitting booties for a friend’s baby — is the goalie of the Canadian women’s hockey team.

The lead photo at top is of the Olympic Park. Evidently, the plane flew right over it.

I designed the page and built the little graphic showing Mark’s equipment. The words and pictures are all his.

We’ll be running Mark’s notebook reports three more times throughout the Olympics.