Robert Beck-In October of 1986 I went to Hawaii to shoot the Ironman Triathlon for a small sports stock agency with nothing but my camera gear and an airline ticket. I slept on a friend’s floor the first night after hitchhiking into town from the airport. There were no hotel rooms available. No rental cars. I checked in with the media center the day before the event and found out Sports Illustrated had “hired” me to shoot the race. I came out of the assignment with a double truck table of contents picture for SI. The image became one of Life Magazine’s Pictures of the Decade. Over thirty years later I am still shooting sports, twenty of them as a staffer for Sports Illustrated where over 100 of my images have graced the cover.
During that time I have covered Gretzky and Bonds as they set lofty individual records. I have shot the Red Sox breaking curses, Kings winning crowns and a Tiger being chased by everyone. I’ve had sittings with Peyton, Kobe, Shaq, The Flying Tomato, Magic, Floyd, Misty, Usain and Michael (the swimming one) and ventured to Beijing, Atlanta, London, Vancouver and Sochi to capture the emotion, color, pageantry and action that are the Olympic Games.