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From The Publisher: Mar. 2, 1992

2 minute read
Elizabeth P. Valk

TIME’s multinational staff can never agree on which country to cheer for in the Olympics, but we are unanimous in supporting one particular team: our own. For the past several weeks, this 20-member unit coped admirably with some hair-raising logistics. Just getting from one far-flung venue to another along traffic-clogged roads was a nightmare; men’s Alpine skiing, for example, was held mostly in Val d’Isere, while women’s was in Meribel, two hours away by bus.

Directing the team and reporting on hockey and speed skating was deputy chief of correspondents Paul A. Witteman, who trained at Seoul and Calgary. Like most seasoned reporters, he was also adept at searching out the best rations. “The one constant at all Olympics seems to be pizza,” he says. “The Savoyard version, perhaps because we are so close to Italy, is a clear winner.”

In contrast to the veterans, contributor Pico Iyer was new to the Olympics. “My only previous experience of any sort of winter games,” he says, “consisted of sitting in California watching the Super Bowl with the air % conditioner on.” Yet his fresh eye and fine prose provided a rich sense of the Games’ atmosphere. Aptly, his most memorable moment happened far from the action: “One night I missed my bus connection and I was reduced to walking to the next village. The scenery, pale blue in the frosted moonlight, was magical, but scenic vistas were not the first thing on the mind of an Indian from Santa Barbara sludging along a dark, deserted road at 2:30 in the morning.”

If getting around in the Savoie was a challenge, so was getting photographs to New York City. MaryAnne Golon, our on-site picture editor, coordinated the efforts of our six photographers and sifted through thousands of images each day. Operations manager Kevin McVea was in charge of all film processing and electronic transmissions to New York. Their world-class performances, and those of the other staff members, brought something special to the pages of TIME this winter.

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