Home » The Olympic Spirit Project

The Olympic Spirit Project

Olympic Spirit Project Book Promo

Update: Olympic Spirit Project Book is now available in print, ePub and PDF!

All proceeds contribute to continuing the project at Rio 2016 and beyond!

Buy Now!

Kickstarter Project Successfully FundedMy Olympic Dream

Since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics I’ve been trying to recreate the excitement and human connection that we felt for 17 days. The high-fiving random people in the streets and hugging strangers in celebration was such an inspiring feeling and I have been craving it ever since.

With media accreditation throughout the Vancouver 2010 Games for the Olympics and the Paralympics and I photographed both the sporting events and the fan celebrations around the city. View a collection of my images on Flickr. 

To continue my Olympic journey, I attended the London Summer Games in 2012 and traveled to Sochi in February 2014. The 2014 Olympics has been labeled as the most expensive and the most controversial of our time. It is with this in mind that I went to Russia to photograph Olympic Spirit and bring that energy back to you.

I raised funds through The Olympic Spirit Kickstarter project and made my Olympic dream a reality. The images from my experience are now being edited and compiled into a photo book with a targeted publishing date of September 2014 and will be available for purchase. Please visit the blog for a preview of some of the images.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

You can still HELP with the publishing costs of the book. Click DONATE today and keep the Olympic Spirit alive!

Gratitude To My Project Backers!

I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and support from my Kickstarter project backers! Thank you all for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to create an inspiring project!

Brandy’s Whistler | Pim & Eveline Richters | Casper Richters | Dimphy Richters | Annemiek Richters | Fabritzio Gerardo Perez Resendi | Peter Gorham | Greg Mazur | Jodie Orange | Margaret Ebrecht | Johan Richters | Lance Tracey | Jaime Montani | Jennifer Marston | Tom Ó Conchobhair | Anna Coghlan | Jenny Reilly | Anneke Starkenberg | David & Lynn Woodgate | Bruno St. Pierre | Nadia Aly | Kerrie Kindrat | Audrey Foo | Mike Jones | Luke Allcock | Spencer Densch | Amanda Cennon | Hilary Curry | Brenda Montani | Glenn Southby | Roland Tanglao | Andrea Brown | Lindsay Yuasa | Heather Gorham | Mark Yuasa | Deanna Gestrin | Peter Morris | Jordan Wade | Laura Maben | Jenn Beagan | Angelica Montani | Kris Bitten | Jon Thompson | Lisette & Ernest Horvers | Angela Horvers | Nanine Horvers | Genevieve Tassin | Gerry Markert | Ais Chuahiok | Clodagh O’Toole | The Vancouver Observer | Jen Hlannon | Derek Carroll | Robert Scales | Catherine Bendall | Natasha Wheatley | John Biehler | Michelle van der Merve | Ken K. J . Onoda Song | Kathleen Wessels | Nicky Tu | Shelley Bosco | Kiri Geen | Benny McLennan | Ian Moore | Chris McRae | Peter D. Yang | Rachael Qualley | Rick Young | Kyle Brayer | Urchin Bags | Cathy Browne | Nahida Ladha | Toffler Niemuth | Kristin Kutarna Gates | Roxy Rae | Jeremy Hubert | Marina Carroll | Auralee Gittings | Zoe Charters | Donna Beniusis | Dara Sklar | Liza Randolph | Kittin Scarentino | Johnny Huang | Aaron Hopps | Tracey Conn | Vanessa & Seamus Kelly | Lindsay Hindle | Adrian Mulholland | Lina Kirchuk | Lucia Fiori | Cara Grimshaw | Sergio Felter | Andrea Hansen | Laurie McLean | SillyGwailo | Peter Chow

Project Update

The Olympic Spirit Kickstarter Project was funded on February 8, 2014!

I am so extremely grateful for everyone who believed in me and contributed to the project! The Olympics are now over and I am busy sifting through several thousand images and updating the blog with stories of my Olympic experience. I invite you to continue to follow along. Looking forward to sharing my journey with you.

The Project (as posted to Kickstarter)

The Sochi Olympics has been labeled as the most controversial Games of our time, and the Olympic Spirit has been lost. The Olympic Spirit Project is focused on sparking that spirit in Sochi and back home. I will focus on capturing the culture, humanity and connections behind the Olympic Spirit while supporting our athletes in Sochi.

Olympic Spirit

Olympic Spirit is about people. It’s about sport, camaraderie, connection, culture and humanity. It’s about making new friends, and celebrating together, exploring our differences and within that realizing that we are all truly the same.The Olympic Games present a unique opportunity for people and cultures to come together around a shared love for sport, friendly competition and celebration. There is so much emotion connected to the Olympics for both the athletes and the fans, and to capture and share this is my passion and goal while in Sochi this February.

It’s time to put the spotlight back where it belongs, on the athletes and the Spirit of the Games, to revive that celebratory energy that we saw in Vancouver in 2010 and in London in 2012. Our athletes need our support as they compete in the biggest competition of their lives.

Vancouver 2010 Men's Gold Medal Hockey Game

Vancouver 2010 Women's Hockey - Switzerland vs Russia

Canadian fan at the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay

Why You Should Back This Project:

I have 20 years of photography experience working for clients such Estee Lauder, Molson Coors, ING Direct, and Homes & Living Magazine. My passion for sports and event photography are what have driven my success and inspired me to apply for media accreditation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. I secured media accreditation for the Olympics and the Paralympics in 2010, and along with a team of journalists, I photographed and documented the fan and cultural experience of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games at www.VancouverAccess2010.com.

My passion for photography, new cultures and the Olympic Games combine beautifully to present a unique opportunity to capture the Olympic Spirit in Sochi and to share these once in a lifetime images with you.

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Media Accreditation Badges

What I Will Deliver:

My goal is to publish a high quality, hard cover photo book of a selection of edited images from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games fan and cultural experience.

By interacting with the fans and athletes at official Olympic and cultural events I will document the Olympic spirit and the emotions behind the celebrations (and disappointments). I’ll photograph and interact with spectators and competitors from around the globe and share their stories.

I will share the journey through blogs at www.mariskarichters.com and www.sochiaccess2014.com while in Sochi, giving my backers the opportunity to follow and be a part of the Olympic Spirit as it happens.

Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Sledge Hockey - Canada vs Japan

Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Sledge Hockey - Canada vs Japan
Events I Will to Attend:

I plan to attend the following events to capture the emotions and the fan experience within the different sporting events:

  • Snowboarding – Ladies’ Snowboard Cross
  • Bobsleigh – Two-man Heats
  • Hockey – Women’s Semi-final
  • Alpine Skiing – Ladies’ Giant Slalom
  • Hockey Mens Quarter Final
  • Freestyle Skiing – Men’s Ski Cross
  • Speed Skating – Men’s and Ladies’ Team Pursuit
  • Hockey – Men’s Bronze Medal
Vancouver 2010 - Men's Team Pursuit Speed Skating Gold Medal Team

Vancouver 2010 Men's Hockey - USA vs Norway

Vancouver 2010 - Paralympic Alpine Skiing

Vancouver 2010 - Paralympic Medal Ceremony

The Plan:

I will attend official Olympic events from February 16th – 22nd. I will explore the Olympic Spirit in and around Sochi through the cultural houses and events. I will remain in Russia for the Closing Ceremonies to document the final celebration. This will require me to be in Sochi, Russia for 9 days, from February 15th – 24th.

What I’ve Invested So Far:

Efforts from previous projects have contributed to my investment into this project to date. I am now seeking funding to get me on the ground in Russia to see the project through.

  • Olympic Event Tickets: $3500
  • Russian Visa: $385
  • Website Costs: $150

What Is Needed to Bring the Project to Life:

In order to make this project a reality, I need your help. I need to raise $7000 to give this project life.

Funds will cover my flight from Vancouver to Sochi, accommodations, transportation, food, and communication expenses (cell phone/wifi) while in Russia. Remaining funds will go towards publishing costs of the book.

Pledge to Kickstarter

  • Flight from Vancouver to Sochi: $2500
  • Accommodation: $2500
  • Food: $500
  • Transportation in Russia: $300
  • Communications Expenses: $200
  • Publishing Costs: $1000

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

In appreciation of your support, I am offering some great rewards from a hand written postcard from Russia to the opportunity to experience an official Olympic event with me at the Games. All backers will be acknowledged in the final printed book.

All Levels: Thank-You Postcard from Russia – All backers pledging $10 or more will receive a hand-written Postcard sent by me from Russia during the Olympic Games.

All Levels: Your Name Featured in the Book – All backers will be acknowledged in the final printed book.

$25 Level: 5-pack of postcards featuring images from the project, and a digital copy of the book.

$85 Level: A digital copy of the book, a signed 5×7 print featuring an image from the project, and a 5-pack of postcards of images from the project.

$150 Level: A digital copy of the book, 2 signed 8×10 prints featuring images from the project, and a 5-pack of postcards of images from the project.

$350 Level: A hard cover copy of the book, 10 prints of photos taken of your personal pocket-sized mascot (provided by you) at 10 Russian Olympic landmarks.

$1000 Level: 2 signed hard cover copies of the book, a signed 11×14 print featuring an image from the project, 10 prints of photos taken of your personal pocket-sized mascot (provided by you) at 10 Russian Olympic landmarks.

$1500 Level (9 available): 2 signed hard cover copies of the book, a (used) official 2014 Olympic event ticket, a signed 11×14 print of an image from the project, 10 prints of photos taken of your personal pocket-sized mascot (provided by you) at 10 Russian Olympic landmarks.

Bronze Medal Hockey Ticket$2000 Level (1 available): A ticket to join me at the 2014 Olympic Men’s and Ladies’ Team Pursuit Speed Skating event on February 21st, 2014 in Sochi Russia (flight, accommodations and related travel expenses not included). You will also receive 2 signed hard cover copies of the book, and a signed 11×14 print of an image from the project.

$2000 Level (1 available): A ticket to join me at the 2014 Olympic Women’s Hockey Play-off Semi-Final Game on February 17th, 2014 in Sochi Russia (flight, accommodations and related travel expenses not included). You will also receive 2 signed hard cover copies of the book, and a signed 11×14 print of an image from the project.

$2000 Level (1 available): A ticket to join me at the 2014 Olympic Men’s Hockey Play-off Quarter-Final Game on February 19th, 2014 in Sochi Russia (flight, accommodations and related travel expenses not included). You will also receive 2 hard cover copies of the book, and a signed 11×14 print of an image from the project.

$2500 Level (1 available): A ticket to join me at the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medal Men’s Hockey Game on February 22nd, 2014 in Sochi Russia (flight, accommodations and related travel expenses not included). You will also receive 2 hard cover copies of the book, and a signed 11×14 print of an image from the project.

All Levels: Karma points and huge gratitude from me!

Thank you for your support and for making this book possible.
In order to receive the funding, the project must achieve its funding goal. Your credit card will only get charged if I reach the funding target.
This is why your pledge is so important. Please give what you can to make this project a reality.

Risks and Challenges

– I have applied for media accreditation with the Sochi Media Centre and am awaiting their response. Media accreditation will aid in gaining access to the cultural venues of the Games. I applied earlier this year for official International Olympic Committee accreditation, but was denied, as I am not with a major media outlet.

– Flight prices from Vancouver to Sochi are priced around $3000. After much research, I have found that booking the trip in two legs will turn out to be cheaper than booking direct from Vancouver. I plan to book the first leg to Amsterdam, and then book the flight from Amsterdam to Sochi separately for a savings of approximately $500.

– Accommodation availability continues to be a challenge. I have been researching accommodation options for several months, and have found that a bed in a hostel room shared by eight people is priced at $125/night. Because I will be traveling with camera and computer gear, this type of accommodation is not practical to keep my equipment safe. As a result, my accommodations budget allocation is at $250/night for 10 nights.

– When publishing a photography book there is always the possibility of potential production and printing delays. I will do everything possible to make sure the book is shipped to all qualifying backers by September 2014.

With gratitude, Mariska
More Olympic Spirit Project Posts!