When the Olympics aren't in Los Angeles, 5'6", 110-pound Katy Feland is a secretary in a business office. So what's she doing holding up the Honda GL650 Interstate in the far right of the photograph above? Feland, shown with the rest of the crew that has ferried SI's film, photographers and equipment around the far-flung L.A. Games, is working as a motorcycle messenger. Her primary responsibility is speeding film from venue to lab to our offices—which really isn't that strange a way for a secretary to spend her summer if she happens to be the only female regular on the Southern California observed trials motorcycle circuit.
With the exception of Mickey Schaffer, a professional messenger for more than 25 years, the others hired by SI photo assistant Jon Hayt (atop the van) are equally unlikely. Four of the five van drivers are teachers. "They're the only good, reliable people who don't work in the summer," says Hayt. The bikers, who range in age from 25 to 55, also include a mechanic, an aspiring photographer, the author of 136 children's books and a hydroelectric engineer (Kim Raynor, far left with the Honda VT500 Ascot, says her B.S. from Arizona State didn't prepare her for more than 200 miles and 12 hours of biking a day).
The crew is but one cog in our special Olympic operation. For the first time, we've devoted nearly the entire magazine to the Games for two successive weeks (107 total pages, compared with 46 for the Montreal Games). Plus, we've gone on location—in West Hollywood, no less—with managing editor Gilbert Rogin viewing the Olympics and supervising our coverage firsthand out of our temporary headquarters on Sunset Boulevard, where picture and story editing, laying out and production activities are being done.
New technology, including satellite transmission of four-color photographs to our East Coast engraving facilities, has helped us turn out so many pages from a remote location on a fast-closing basis. We also had to move parts of our art and photo departments west. "We've virtually duplicated the New York office out here—not only in people but also in machinery," says production deputy George Infante. "It's been a tremendous undertaking."
Considering that the Games come along only once every four years, it's one we were delighted to undertake.