The Olympics often offer draw people in via a combination of dramatic stories and viral moments (remember that tiger suit run earlier in a snowboarding event?), some of which come out of left field. Such was the case with the skiing halfpipe competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, when Finnish competitor Jon Sallinen lost control and totally flew into a cameraman capturing – or at least attempting to capture – the event. I think the word for that is “gnarly.”
If you haven’t seen the video moment yet, you can hear the Olympics announcer call the trick Jon Sallinen was about to do “very crazy” before a wide shot literally captures the Olympian plowing first into a cameraman and then straight into the boards, where he remains motionless for a period. (If you missed the Olympics event streaming, he was fine after.) Take a look.
The one nice thing about the Olympics, well, as long as you aren’t the cameraman who got roasted by the Finnish competitor, is that there are cameras situated at a lot of different angles. It’s a weird Catch-22, because if there had been fewer cameras, perhaps the poor man in black wouldn’t have gotten run into, but because there are so many cameras we also get two to three different vantage points of the cameraman getting slammed into with some skis and then hit with Jon Sallinen’s ski pole for good measure.
Absolute legend of a cameraman, holding the shot right up til the contact, and not ever coming close to dropping the camera. #Beijing2022 #Halfpipe pic.twitter.com/nh5sylSVuMFebruary 17, 2022
Meanwhile, the announcer is trying to explain the competitor’s trick when the smashing moment happened. My favorite part of this whole thing is that he seems very concerned about the competitor (who was on his first run when the viral moment happened), but not particularly interested in whether or not the poor cameraman is OK. Cameramen get no love, I guess…
To be fair, Sallinen’s crash (via NBC) looks extremely brutal, whereas the cameraman’s equipment looks to have taken the brunt of the Olympian’s skis. (Though, again, he also got hit with the ski pole.) Jon Sallinen, at least, seemed concerned for the poor camera guy’s welfare. While he waited for his score, he said “sorry” and that he hopes “the cameraman’s all good.”
The Finnish competitor ultimately got an 18.00 for the run and eventually did not qualify for the main Men’s Halfpipe event in Beijing after landing an 18.5 on his second run. The top 3 qualifiers were Aaron Blunck (U.S.), Nico Porteous (New Zealand) and Birk Irving (U.S.). Two other Americans, Alex Ferreira and David Wise, also qualified.
Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.
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