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Nancie Battaglia has been covering Olympic Games, summer and winter, since 1980.  Photo:  Nancie Battaglia
Nancie Battaglia has been covering Olympic Games, summer and winter, since 1980. Photo: Nancie Battaglia

Nancie Battaglia: A photographer's Olympics

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After months of anticipation, and weeks of dramatic competition, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are officially over.

North Country athletes wrapped up their Olympic contests over the weekend in Sochi. Biathlon racer Lowell Bailey from Lake Placid raced well in the Men's Relay, though his team finished in 16th place. Yesterday, the US bobsled team, which trains often in Lake Placid, captured another bronze medal with its four-man sled. North Country athletes Andrew Weibrecht and Erin Hamlin both medaled at these Winter Games, capturing a silver and a bronze.

Brian Mann checked in for a recap of the games with Nancie Battaglia, one of our correspondents in Sochi, just as she was preparing to fly out for home in Lake Placid.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Brian Mann: You have been to a lot of Winter Olympics before, how has this one come off?

These Olympics in Russia introduced America to a new part of the world.  Photo:  Nancie Battaglia
These Olympics in Russia introduced America to a new part of the world. Photo: Nancie Battaglia
Nancie Battaglia: Successfully, you know the events went on as planned, the transportation seems to work, the weather for the most part was pretty great, I mean we had a couple of rainy, foggy days but I think that the whole Olympics could have been like that so we were really lucky. Everyone did well in medals, it’s not lopsided. A lot of countries are medaling and everyone seems to be happy.

BPM: A lot of viewers have been aware that these Olympics are happening against the background of Russia, of Vladimir Putin, there was the event with the Cossacks and Pussy Riot having their encounter…. There’s been the situation with Russia and Ukraine. On the ground in Sochi, have you been aware of any of that?

NB: No, I’m here for the sports. When you’re in the middle of an Olympics, you’re in the middle of an Olympics, that’s it. As the athletes say, I am here to compete, I’m here to watch the sports, to photograph the sports, to chase down the sports, you know, to watch our athletes do well, or not so well, and I’m not paying that much attention to what's happening in the world.

BPM: You’ve been at trackside for some really remarkable events. What have been some of the highlight moments for you?

Andrew Weibrecht's silver medal win was a highlight of the Games for the North Country  Photo: Nancie Battaglia
Andrew Weibrecht's silver medal win was a highlight of the Games for the North Country Photo: Nancie Battaglia
NB: Well definitely Andrew [Weibrecht's silver medal win in Alpine Super-G] was a highlight and Erin [Hamlin's bronze in Luge Women's Singles] was a highlight, and actually when  Andrew did so well, it was really fun listening to and watching [NCPR Sochi correspondent and Adirondack Daily Enterprise Reporter] Chris Knight, who of course it was his first Olympics and first probably major medal and he had been, you know, talking with Andrew and watching Andrew and to have him pop a good one was pretty exciting and it was pretty exciting for me to see, you know Chris just kind of doing backflips down in the media area.

One of Battaglia's iconic images from 2014 will be Erin Hamlin's moment of victory in Sochi.  Photo:  Nancie Battaglia
One of Battaglia's iconic images from 2014 will be Erin Hamlin's moment of victory in Sochi. Photo: Nancie Battaglia
BPM: I want to talk for just a second about capturing these amazing images. You know I was just so ignorant about this place in Russia, Sochi and the mountains there and it turned out to be just an incredibly photogenic part of the world.

NB: the first morning I woke up and looked out the window and said holy cow look at those mountains, like the Alps. So here I am in the Alps of Russia, you know surrounded by beautiful snowcapped mountains and they have built a whole resort type area, it is pretty spectacular and it could be a very, very special place.

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