Veteran camera operator Rick Regamble leans against his camera at his centre ice position at the Gangneung Hockey Centre in Pyeongchang County, South Korea. The 59-year-old Langley resident, who is assigned to the men’s hockey tournament, is working his 13th Olympic Games. Submitted photo

Veteran Olympic camera operator: been there, done that, and loving every minute

Pyeongchang marks Langley resident Rick Regamble’s 13th Olympics

Another year, another Olympic Games for veteran cameraman Rick Regamble.

Working the Olympic Games is old hat for the Langley resident, who turns 60 in March.

The well-travelled Regamble’s first Olympic experience happened exactly three decades ago, at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary

That year, he shot the ski jumping competition.

“Yup, Eddy the Eagle was our big story that year,” Regamble said.

Including those ’88 Games, he’s covered a multitude of events at 13 different Olympics.

They include:

• ’94 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway: hockey

• ’96 Summer Games in Atlanta GA,: indoor volleyball

• ’98 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan: open and closing ceremonies/downhill skiing/medal ceremonies

• ’02 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah: opening ceremonies/HD Hockey (first broadcast in high definition)

• ’04 Summer Games in Athens, Greece: shooting

• ’06 Winter Games in Turin, Italy: figure skating/short track speed skating

• ’08 Summer Games in Beijing, China: shooting

’10 Winter Games in Vancouver: men’s hockey

’12 Summer Games in London: beach volleyball

’14 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia: open and closing ceremonies/women’s hockey

’16 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: beach volleyball

And this year, he’s shooting the men’s hockey competition in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.

Through the magic of modern technology, the Times caught up with the father of three who grew up in South Langley and has called the Yorkson area home for the past decade.

Times: With all your Olympic experience, what’s been your ‘golden moment?’

RR: I was there for that ‘Golden Goal’ by Mr. (Sidney) Crosby (Regamble was referring to Crosby’s winning goal versus the U.S. that gave the Canadian men’s hockey team gold at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver). It was fantastic. The building went crazy. I have never heard Rogers Arena that loud. I have noise reduction headsets I wear and I had trouble hearing the director.

The other thing that sticks with me is when he scored, I actually felt the compression of that crowd erupting against my chest. There was a massive rush of air that we felt in the camera suite.

One other thing, going back to men’s hockey, in Salt Lake in 2002. For me that was very special, as well, to be a part of a broadcast that witnessed history. Canada winning gold for the first time in 50 years – that was fun to shoot, too!

T: What’s your schedule like in Pyeongchang?

We are doing our first men’s hockey game tonight (Feb. 13). I’m doing the quarters, semi and medal games. Our venue is the Gangneung Hockey Centre. I arrived on the eighth (of February) and I leave on the 26th.

T: What is your official role?

RR: I am a camera operator. I’m doing the same camera that I do for Canucks hockey, which I have been shooting since the ’80s. The bulk of our hockey venue crew is the Vancouver Canucks hockey crew and the veteran crew have been together shooting hockey for over 20 years, and in some cases, 30 years.

T: What has been the experience been like in Pyeongchang thus far, and how is it different from past Olympics? Has technology affected your job?

RR: The Olympic Broadcast services are always striving to be on the cutting edge of technology and these games are no exception. In our rink there is a ‘spidercam’ which is also known as a cable cam — this one is a smaller version then the one you see on NFL games. It is the first time it has been used for shooting Olympic hockey. Quite frankly, we did a rehearsal game last night and their shots are amazing!

As well we have two – 8 K ( even better then 4 k) cameras that we are using in each offensive zone.

T: What is a typical assignment like?

RR: I do tight follow, so my job is to follow the puck carrier, head to toe, and when he shoots or passes, I go with the puck to the next skater or the net. My replay is the classic head to toe tight follow of a slapshot from the point and I follow the puck all the way to the back of the net, or the wrist shot from the slot. I then pan back to goal-scorer and follow him back to the bench on a close-up shot. The rule for shooting tight follow is the director always wants ‘shooter shooter shooter.’

T: What do you enjoy about your job?

RR: Well my dad once said, “Son, find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Well, I have been doing this since 1980 when BCTV took a chance on a smart ass kid and hired me to learn how to do camera.

And I haven’t worked a day in my life.

I think the biggest thing I love about my job is the team aspect of it. We all have our specific jobs, whether it’s cameras, audio, switcher, video tape, picture painters, or, of course, the director and producer.

For Olympics it’s a big crew — 25 cameras compared to a home Canucks game which has nine.

T: What is the mood, political climate etc. like there?

RR: All my life I have wanted to say these words… “no comment”… because the organization I work for falls under the IOC umbrella I am not allowed to answer that question for fear of reprisal. And I want to go to Japan for 2020!

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