The Man has left the building. Said goodbye to Heinz Kluetmeier last night.
HK made all of this possible for me. He brought me to Sports Illustrated and taught me so much of what I do.
My first finish line for SI, he walked with me to the stadium making small talk. When I started setting up my cameras, he could tell I was really nervous and a little flustered by the commotion and swarming international press corps. He put his hand on my shoulder and gave me some encouragement. "You will be great at this," he said. "It is no different than what you do every day. Don't let the scene and the noise bother you. Concentrate on your work, remember what we've talked about, focus yourself, and everyone will get out of your way and this will be your home for a long long time."
Heinz and Jeff Kavanaugh, his great assistant and a good friend to all of us, are out the door for the States this morning. The getaway is key --Heinz taught us all that lesson very well.
Kluet ruled the pool, as always.
He was the first one to put a camera in a pool at the Olympics. I was with him in Barcelona doing that initial install, but that's a story for another time... and he still does it best.
So much to aspire to.