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Capturing Olympic dreams: Brookfield photographer shares experience covering the Games

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Posted at 9:10 AM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 19:23:15-05

MILWAUKEE — Brookfield native John Weinsheim has been a cameraman for 34 years. He loves the thrill of photographing sports. The 4-time Emmy-award winning photographer has plenty of stories to share. He recalls the time NBA star Kevin Durant Knocked him out.

"Kevin Durant slammed me from Golden State Warriors and gave me a concussion for a month and a half when he put his knee into my head."

Weinsheim has worked four Olympics. He lives in the Los Angeles area but got his start in Milwaukee.

"I did everything at Channel 10/WMVS 36. I was an intern when I was going to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee."

His 34-year career has had him covering hundreds of events, from playoffs, to concerts, to political debates, to TV shows.

He has pictures with legendary singer Tony Bennett, Actress Charlize Theron, and NBA Superstar Lebron James to name a few.

He's seen a lot, but covering the Olympics has been a career pinnacle.

His most challenging Olympics?

"Oh, it was definitely Tokyo and PyeongChang, for the ultimate and cold with negative 10, with 50 mile an hour winds, to make it like negative 28 wind chills. Or something like that."

Weinsheim shares the weather extremes he's experienced. "And then the other one was the complete opposite of that. It was the Tokyo Summer Olympics on beach volleyball. I was sitting in the sand some days. It was recorded 135 degrees. It was with 95% humidity, I mean this is it was literally like you could get heatstroke by the end of the first match, and you'd have to do three matches in a row! It was just amazing, the heat," explains the veteran cameraman.

The Brookfield native was invited to cover the Beijing Olympics this year, but took a pass this time.

"It was I just couldn't see sitting in a hotel room for two weeks doing a quarantine without being able to go outside."

"I was told that you had to quarantine in a hotel for the two weeks, that you'd have to be there before you can step outside, go to your events, and I just didn't think I could pull that off, " he said.

But after more than 3 decades in the business, Weinsheim can pick and choose assignments. He's already been nabbed for another plum job: the 2022 Superbowl.

"Oh, I don't know yet. I don't know what my assignments are going to be, but I'm on the schedule for January 6 through the 13th at the SOFI stadium in Inglewood, California - the city of champions!"

Weinsheim knows he's blessed to have a job he cherishes and the talent to be in demand. He points out that everything he does depends on a team of professionals. They all work hard to get the world the magic of competition.

"I love being down there with the people," he said. "It's not a job - it's an adventure."

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