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Olympics

2002 Winter Games

A book of photos and essays documenting the Salt Lake Winter Olympics

Salt Lake City had planned for the Olympics for nearly a decade. Despite the controversies, they arrived, took place without any incidents and turned out better than anyone had hoped. Only six months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the country was ready for some fun, and we got it.

Bobsledders
Bobsledders

Just before the Winter Olympics began, I got a call from the Deseret News — a Salt Lake daily newspaper where I had previously worked — to see if I was available to design a book together featuring the photos and writing of the newspaper's photographers and reporters.

Of course, I jumped at the chance, but there was one big consideration: the photos wouldn't be ready until the Olympics were over and then I had exactly one week to design, build and ship the book off for printing. It was a 15-hour per day job, but it turned out great — all 125 pages of it.

Book cover

Above: Front and back cover of the book

Digital photography was not yet common by 2002, but the Deseret News invested heavily in digital camera equipment to eliminate the need for darkroom processing before uploading the photos to the Associated Press.

I was told by a Deseret News photographer that Mitt Romney, who was president of the committee that organized the Olympics, made a comment about our "unofficial" commemorative book turning out better than their official book.

Inside pages - fireworks

Since the International Olympics Committee owns all rights to Olympics-related trademarks, almost no mention of the word Olympics appeared in the book. Instead, the event was generically referred to as the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. The same was true of the Olympic rings logo — it doesn't appear anywhere in the book except in some of the photos.

Inside pages
Inside page
Inside page