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Saugus resident to photograph Olympics

Posted: January 31, 2014 7:22 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2014 7:22 p.m.

Saugus resident and Signal contributing photographer Jayne Kamin-Oncea. Signal photo by Dan Watson.

Saugus resident and Signal contributing photographer Jayne Kamin-Oncea has shot all the big ones — the 1984 Summer Olympics, Super Bowls, the World Series, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.

But she has never shot anything with as much fear and uncertainty surrounding it as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Kamin-Oncea is a credentialed photographer for USA Today Sports Images and will be leaving for Russia on Monday to primarily photograph ice hockey and the Opening Ceremonies.

With concerns of terrorist attacks, a storm of controversy over gay rights and politics and other issues, Sochi is a hotbed of concern.

But that’s not what makes Kamin-Oncea uneasy.

“I’m just nervous about flying for 14 hours,” Kamin-Oncea joked. “My worries are not being tired and not being sick. I’m not worried about the other stuff. In the Olympic village it’s very safe.”

However, there are precautions.

Kamin-Oncea said USA Today Sports Images is making sure its photographers check in five times per day. If the check-ins aren’t done by a certain time, the organization, she said, will look for the photographers.

Should something go awry, such as a terror incident, the veteran photographer said coverage will change.

“We’re all journalists,” she said. “If something happens, we are required to cover that stuff that happens.”

Kamin-Oncea, who was a longtime photographer for the Los Angeles Times and has been shooting for The Signal since 2011, said her concerns are more about being in the right place at the right time to capture the gold-medal moment.

In 1984, a timing box was in her way at the Los Angeles Coliseum and she missed Mary Decker’s famous fall in the 3,000-meter run.

She did capture Decker’s emotion afterward.

“I’m already stressing,” she said. “I want to be in the right spot.”


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