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Sep 23, 2013
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Gaining Ben Johnson’s trust

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(Editor’s note: Gary Hershorn, now Global Editor, Sports Pictures, for Reuters, has covered sport for 35 years. A Canadian, he gained the trust of compatriot Ben Johnson in the run-up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics and had special access to the sprinter’s training. Here, Hershorn, looks back at that time and at Johnson’s downfall.)

By Gary Hershorn

Standing shirtless on the training track, Ben Johnson looked at me, then dropped his running shorts. He stared at me, apparently willing me to take a picture and prove I was just another paparazzo desperate to get a sensational shot of the world’s most famous athlete ahead of the Seoul Olympics.

Sep 23, 2013

Reuters photographer won Johnson’s trust before Seoul

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Standing shirtless on the training track, Ben Johnson looked at me, then dropped his running shorts.

He stared at me, apparently willing me to take a picture and prove I was just another paparazzo desperate to get a sensational shot of the world’s most famous athlete ahead of the Seoul Olympics.

Sep 23, 2013

Athletics-Reuters photographer won Johnson’s trust before Seoul

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Standing shirtless on the training track, Ben Johnson looked at me, then dropped his running shorts.

He stared at me, apparently willing me to take a picture and prove I was just another paparazzo desperate to get a sensational shot of the world’s most famous athlete ahead of the Seoul Olympics.

Sep 21, 2013
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Summer in NYC

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New York City, New York

By Gary Hershorn

I think it can be said, all of us can look back at ourselves and recall specific moments that shaped the direction our lives went in. For me I can remember two such moments that even now, years later, seem like they happened just yesterday.

The first was as a nine-year-old when I attended my first NHL hockey game in Toronto. I will never forget entering the temple of hockey called Maple Leaf Gardens, walking along corridors that were lined with large photographs of all the great players and then down a darkened hallway towards a bright light that opened up into the bowl of the arena and the view of the ice surface. I remember thinking this has to be the brightest place on earth as the TV lights shone on the white ice and my heroes, the players, as they warmed up for the game.

Sep 13, 2013
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The Arafat-Rabin handshake 20 years on

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By Gary Hershorn

There I was on Saturday, September 11, 1993 waiting for the U.S. Open women’s tennis final to start in New York when I received a call from my manager at the time, Larry Rubenstein, that I had to return to Washington the following night as soon as the men’s final was finished to help cover what he said was a big event Monday morning. “There is going to be an historic handshake and you need to be there so just get back to DC,” he said.

Word had come that PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin were going to attend the signing of the Israeli-PLO peace accord with President Clinton on the back lawn of the White House. I was told to do whatever I needed to in order to get out of New York on Sunday night after the men’s final and be at the White House at dawn Monday morning.

Nov 5, 2012
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When the floods come to your hometown

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Hoboken, New Jersey

By Gary Hershorn

For thirty-four years I have been a photojournalist covering events the world over, but never have I had to live within a news event in my hometown. Too many times to count in my 28 years with Reuters, I have packed my bags and flown off to cover the news but never have I looked out my window and seen a story unfold before me. It is an indescribable feeling watching waters rage and rise in the street below, feeling as helpless as one can be.

Saturday:

It was a perfectly normal day in Hoboken, New Jersey. I was out and about knowing that forecasters were calling for Hurricane Sandy to come ashore somewhere between Cape May and New York late Monday night. By mid-afternoon I walked to a pier that juts out into the Hudson River to see if I could get some pictures of Lower Manhattan with gray clouds looming in the sky. I was fortunate to have some newlyweds walk out to the pier to have their wedding pictures taken using the New York skyline as a backdrop. The contrast of the white dress and the dark gray skies made for a nice photograph.

Jul 11, 2011
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Space Shuttle Atlantis – A 30 year wait

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For the second year in a row, I find myself writing about covering an event after a 30 year wait. A year ago I wrote about photographing a match at center court at the Wimbledon tennis championships, 30 years after the start of my career. This time I write about seeing my first shuttle launch, 30 years after Columbia the first shuttle lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center.

It almost feels like yesterday, sitting in the United Press Canada photo office in Toronto in April 1981 watching that first launch. I was a young freelance photographer about to be hired into my first staff job at the news agency when Columbia blasted off on mission STS-1.

Jun 13, 2011
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Remembering Shaun Best

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The following is a note to staff from News Editor, Pictures America, Gary Hershorn following the tragic death of Montreal based Reuters photographer Shaun Best.

“By now you have all woken up Monday morning having dealt with the news on Sunday that our colleague and friend Shaun Best has passed away.

Jul 1, 2010
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Center Court – A 30 year wait

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Wednesday finally saw the culmination of a 30 year dream of mine to shoot a match on the famed center court at Wimbledon. After 30 years of being a photographer, 25 of those spent with Reuters covering every conceivable sports championship around the world, there were still two things I always wanted to photograph, but for one reason or another never had the opportunity to do so. One was shooting a match on center court and the other, covering a British Open golf championship at St. Andrews.

This year is not my first at Wimbledon, I have been here a number of times editing the great pictures our photographers take during the fortnight of tennis. There is no tennis tournament that produces the beautiful images that Wimbledon does. From the simple white clothes that the competitors must wear, to the light that seems to illuminate the court in a magical way, to the darkish backgrounds of spectators the perfect distance away from the player and to the history that has played out on the grass year after year, one can only describe the chance to be here as special.