It's good that a little work has never bothered associate picture editor Maura Foley. In addition to coordinating the photography for our upcoming Olympic preview issue, she is also responsible for editing pictures for our horse racing stories. It's a safe bet that the closest she'll get this year to horseback riding, one of her favorite activities, will be her light table. In the little spare time left, she has been planning her wedding to college sweetheart Alan Fleisig, which will take place 46 days after the Atlanta Games, where she'll put in 18-hour days, coordinating photo shoots, assigning stories, researching and editing film. "I know now it's not a good idea to schedule a wedding in an Olympic year, but I thought I could do it," says Foley, who has been preparing for the Games since last August but for the wedding only since February. "If I have to call people and just say, 'Come to the wedding,' I guess I will."
On Sunday, for instance, Foley spent the day editing horse racing film from the Preakness (page 56), as well as track and field film from the Atlanta Grand Prix (page 44), which marked the opening of Atlanta's Olympic Stadium. To pick the photos for those stories, she helped pore through, sort out and pare down 5,652 slides, about 20 times the number of hors d'oeuvres she'll need for the wedding. Stacked in overflowing piles in her office are envelopes filled with film for our 252-page Olympic preview, which will appear in early July and include stories on topics ranging from badminton in Indonesia to wrestling in Ossetia.
The Foley family's sporting tastes have always had an international flavor. Foley has early memories of watching hurling matches at Gaelic Park in the Bronx with her father, James, who emigrated from Ireland in 1952. "My father was always reading about the sports going on in Ireland, so I grew up tuned to international sports," says Foley, whose mother, Julia, also emigrated from Ireland. Living in Queens, the Foleys developed an affection for American sports, too, particularly while following the world champion 1969 Mets, although Maura's first trip to Shea Stadium was to watch a group with more international appeal, the Beatles. "I was five," she says, "and all I remember is asking my father, 'Why are all these people screaming?' "
Foley remained close to home to attend Queens College, where she first met Fleisig when she was the photo editor and he was a writer on the staff of The Phoenix, one of the school newspapers. Fleisig, now a computer-graphics consultant, has become a fan of the Olympics after years of watching the telecasts in an effort to spot Foley in the crowd. Atlanta will mark Foley's sixth straight Olympics, her second for SI.
"Maura's like one of those circus performers with 12 plates in the air, balanced on those little sticks," says deputy picture editor Steve Fine, who helped to woo Foley to SI from Duomo Photography three years ago. "She's always balancing a lot of projects at once. She has a great sense of humor about it, which keeps us all going. And she's quite a lively dancer."
Which should come in handy at the wedding, though Foley doesn't have to worry about booking the band. That's one of the jobs assigned to Fleisig.