Back in 1992 the USA Gymnastics team was scheduled to get their media pictures done in Tampa. Every Olympian has media pictures taken. These pictures are used by local television and newspaper journalists. It is also the picture that is used on the athletes Official ID and it will be the official picture used on the USA Olympic web site. As you can see this picture is a pretty important picture.
My official media picture story starts with me in the shower. The USA gymnastics team had just finished a long and hard work out and we were told to go back to our hotel and get ready for our pictures. So I jumped in the shower. After about five minutes into my shower, my coach knocked on my door in a panic.
“You’re up, you’re up.” She frantically yelled through the door.
“I’m up for what?” I asked.
“Your picture, everyone is waiting for you.”
“I’m in the shower.”
“Well, get out and hurry up.”
I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. I was told to go up the room and get ready and then I was being yelled at to go get my picture taken. I was in the middle of a shower. I was washing my hair and I wasn’t close to being finished. But I quickly washed my shampoo out and I didn’t bother to condition my hair. I jumped out of the shower as quickly as I could. Again someone started to bang on my door. “Wendy, you are up for pictures!” they were yelling. “I know, I am hurrying as fast as I can.” Then I started to wonder how all of my other teammates were able to go up to the room, shower, do their hair and make -up and already had their pictures taken. I knew that there was no way that I was going to be able to blow dry my hair, put on make – up, and get down to get my picture taken. I rushed into the bedroom rustled through my suitcase found underwear, a bra, and a t-shirt and threw them on. Then I ran around the room searching for my hairbrush. I couldn’t find it but I put my hair up in a messy ponytail anyway. Then I threw on my Olympic jacket and shoes and sprinted downstairs to the photo room.
Everyone was there waiting for me. Apparently when we were told to get ready, they meant to put on our warm-up suit and they did NOT mean to shower and get pretty. Every coach, trainer, and gymnast on the girls and men’s team had already taken their pictures. Everyone was waiting for me. I ran into my spot and click the picture team pictures was taken and then click my individual picture was taken and in five seconds it was all over.
I had no make-up on, my hair wasn’t done and it was still wet, and I looked like crap. And now and until forever that picture will officially be MY photo. It was used in newspaper articles during the Olympics in my hometown paper, it was used on the news, it was used on my ID tag, and it is still used today if you do a google search for me.
And here it is. My Official Olympic picture for the world to see.