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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1052166
Rated: 18+ · Book · Music · #2231553
Fictitious and delicious!
#1052166 added July 4, 2023 at 9:44pm
Restrictions: None
The Physicality of the Freeze Frame
The northerly breeze carried the sound of the rushing rapids to where Dana stood near the finish line of the whitewater course. She and the other photographers in her group waited for their escort to give them to go ahead to explore the venue. Even though the Olympics would not kick off until the next day, everyone in the photography competition pilot was doing the final prep before they began rushing to their assigned events. This included tours of the venues, and Dana thanked her lucky stars that she managed to get any whitewater events in her list.

"Okay, we are good!"

This spurred the group to split off. Dana waited for the other photographers to go before making her way around the venue. She took a few moments to look towards the stands. Because of the venue's design, this was one of the few events where she could not get pictures from the stands, something that had disappointed her at first. The wind tugged at Dana's bucket hat, prompting her to hold the top of it down with her left hand while looking at the spread of purple and white seats. Looking further up, she spotted five flag-like banners that composed the whitewater event's pictogram. Since each panel stayed steady, Dana figured the wind was stronger than it felt on the ground near the water.

After a while, Dana decided to walk around. She kicked off her walk by following the curve of the peninsula where she stood first to the bridge she had crossed earlier then over to the warm up/cool down pool. She stopped at the pool for a moment and dug out her phone. While she was not allowed to bring her camera, she could take a few shots with her phone in addition to taking notes. Thus, she snapped a few perspectives of the concrete carved bays of the rather large pool. Turning around, Dana found a long line of white flag poles. So far, the only flags flying were for the International Canoe Federation and the Paris 2024 flag. Remembering the earlier briefing, Dana knew that all of the other flags would be at full staff the next time she was here.

The breeze subsided, and Dana could feel the full strength of the sun as she made her way to the boat ramp. A couple people sat in boats nearby, waiting for cues to approach the ramp. Dana hung out for a few minutes to watch the test. She spotted a couple of her photography cohorts nearby, and the guy (was it Simon?) waved. Dana waved back before looking back at the ramp. The young canoer paddled over and gave a thumbs up to a technician on the opposite side of the canal. The ramp kicked into gear, and the boat was soon at the highest point on the entire course. Seeing that he was heading for the starting blocks, Dana trotted off to a new spot to watch the next leg of the test.

Once the canoer had begun paddling down the course, Dana slowed down to study the rapids themselves. Seeing the course without the familiar green or red gates struck her as strange. She knew that the gates moved around, but not having them in front of her at this moment made her rub her face as she tried to add them to the scene in her mind's eye. While she knew that seeing the athletes get hit by the waves provided a lot of dramatic shot opportunities, she also recognized that navigating the gates allowed them to demonstrate both their upper body strength and exceptional torso flexibility. The canoers and kayakers sometimes played limbo with the gate poles to both make the gate and avoid hitting it at the same time.

Soon she found herself at the middle of the course. She could see out into the stands once again. This time, though, she focused on the course banks closest to the stands. Part of her suspected she'd end up over there but decided to see how photos would look from the side where she stood. Keeping her back straight, Dana lowered herself so her knees were over her toes as low as she could manage. Here she could see that she could get within feet of the surface of the water before getting splashed. On the other hand, she noticed how little room there was between the edge of the bank and the flag poles. With a sigh, she stood up. Just as she was about to walk back toward the finish line, a woman in an official's shirt approached.

"Excuse me," she said. "I am curious. Did you dance ballet?"

Dana shook her head. "I took some classes years ago but never really danced."

"Oh, interesting."

"Did I do something to make you think I danced?"

"Yes. I saw you kneel down. It looked like a plie. Not bad for someone who has not danced."

"Oh, thanks! I'm just trying to keep my back in good shape. I'm not getting any younger."

"Oh, I don't think that's a concern."

Dana cocked her head at the woman. The woman's accent was somewhere between French and Italian, so trying to guess her age by appearance was at best a crapshoot. Women from both nations tended to age almost as slowly as herself. For all Dana knew, this woman was already in her 60s.

"I'm a bit too old to be competing in the Olympics as an athlete, but I'm not too old to make the effort to stay in shape," Dana replied after a bit.

"That's a good attitude. I like it! Are you in the photography competition?"

"I am."

"Well, best of luck with that. I bet you'll do great!"

"Thanks."

The woman walked off, leaving Dana back to her own ruminations. With a shrug, Dana decided to head for the bridge. Other areas awaited her inspection.

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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/1052166