What It's Like Covering The Olympic Games
Golf Digest's own Ben Walton discusses his week in Rio, full of golf, other Olympic sports and an unforgettable experience.
Released on 8/15/2016
[Ben Voiceover] Hey, what's up world?
My name is Ben Walton, and I'm a photo editor
for Golf Digest magazine.
That's me there in a taxicab headed to JFK for my flight
to Rio to cover golf's return to the Olympic Games.
This is the story of my week.
I got to the airport way too early,
maybe I was nervous, who know?
So I grabbed a burger and a beer or three
and once it was time to board I popped a few NyQuil
and boom, I woke up in Brazil.
After that, I met up with my co-worker Jaime Diaz
and week took a shuttle the MPC, the Main Press Center,
the hub of the Olympic Games
for the media members like ourselves.
We headed to the tiny apartment
where we would be staying for a week
and we found a shattered mirror all over the floor.
Turns out it had been slapped on the wall
with double-sided tape, cool.
Wednesday I spent most of the day hanging out
with Emiliano Grillo from Argentina.
He let me walk with him during his practice round
and I finally got the scoop on how his clubs got lost
in Sao Paulo days before the games.
Thursday was the day, the day golf was said to be back
in the Olympics after 112 years.
It was a pretty neat atmosphere, I must say.
Team USA played poorly and this guy Fraser from Australia
got off to a hot start.
Later that night I snuck off to Copacabana Beach
and shot some beach volleyball just for fun.
This photo vest gets me pretty much anywhere,
which is awesome.
Friday, I decided I wasn't going to go to the course.
Instead, I was gonna try and make a couple videos
showing you guys some cool stuff in Rio.
I went to some other venues,
but it didn't quite go as planned.
At the course, Fraser continued to lead
and the young Belgian Thomas Pieters
was at the top of the leaderboard as well.
Anyhoo, that night I decided
to go shoot some USA basketball.
They played Serbia and only won by three.
Pretty wild seeing all these guys on the floor together.
Saturday, I went back to the course
and shot the third round of play.
Bubba and Rickie played really well
and I realized some of the groups actually
had some military security walking with them
that wasn't shown on TV.
Sunday I woke up with a little extra excitement.
Jaime and I got to the course early,
and I shot the final two groups of the day.
The intensity in that final group was crazy.
Stenson and Rose were going shot for shot all day long
and the fans were awesome.
So much support out there.
Ultimately, as you probably already know,
Justin Rose won the gold, just beating out Stenson
on the last hole with an epic wedge shot
to within a foot or so.
Then the sun set on a week that was nothing but a success
for the game of golf.
Needless to say, I can't wait for Tokyo in 2020.