N.L. photographer shooting Pyeongchang Games is grandson of early Olympian
Jonathan Hayward decided to first pick up a camera after seeing grandfather carry torch to '88 Olympics
When it comes to Newfoundlanders participating in the Olympics, names like Team Gushue and Kaetlyn Osmond might immediately come to mind.
There's another person from the province taking part in his fifth Olympic Games — but Jonathan Hayward isn't an athlete. He's a professional sports photographer.
Hayward, originally from Portugal Cove, has been working with the Canadian Press as a wire photographer for 12 years.
He's won several prestigious awards, such as the 2014 Sports Media Canada Award for Outstanding Sports Photography following the Sochi Olympics.
This year, Hayward is covering mountain events in Pyeongchang, such as ski cross, slope style and moguls, with a focus on Canadian athletes.
"We really don't care about anything else, but luckily for us during this Olympics the Canadians are doing phenomenal," he told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show by phone from South Korea.
"To watch a Canadian win a gold Olympic medal and you're right there, capturing it, it's pretty awesome."
Calling this year's Olympics his favourite so far, Hayward said he has developed his skills over the years and is now more patient and better able to pace himself to get the perfect shot than he was during previous games.
He said it's not easy work, sometimes punching 15 hour days in –29 degree temperatures, but it's a thrill to be one of only nine CP staff wire photographers in Canada who travel around the world to events like the Olympics.
"We're just running on pure adrenalin right now. It's very much like being an athlete; the only difference is we've got 21 days to compete," he joked.
"We do a lot of mountain events, so it means I have to walk into position with a 50-pound backpack. But this one has been awesome. I'm in more of a groove than I was in the past."
Hayward's decision to become a professional news photographer started back in 1988, when his grandfather, Ferd Hayward, was among the first people to help carry the Olympic torch to Calgary for that year's games.
"I made up my mind that day I was going to be a wire photographer," Hayward said.
Ferd Hayward was one of the first Olympians from Newfoundland and Labrador, having competed in the race walking event at the 1952 games in Helsinki. He also won the race -walking world championships that same year.
His grandfather's experience meant the Olympics always loomed large in Hayward's family, and he said there was always a focus on healthy living and sports.
"It was a lot of inspiration as his grandson to see [that was] something that could happen," he said.
With files from the St. John's Morning Show