Photographer Tony Triolo, who is responsible for this week's cover and the goal-mouth hockey pictures on pages 21-24, faces winter assignments with massive élan. First he dons thermal long underwear. Over that come thick socks, heavy pants and boots, a knit golf shirt and a sunburst woolen sweater and cap, apparently knit by a colorblind Norwegian. Then he tugs on a poplin parka—"the hood is real wolf fur"—and over that he hangs three or four cameras. So much for what he wears indoors. Outside, Triolo shrugs into a sheepskin coat roomy enough to be buttoned over the cameras and keep them warm. The coat is said to be spacious enough to sleep 12 if Triolo's party is ever lost in the snowy wilds.
On assignment this formidable figure has a way of getting the best camera spots. At the Holmenkollen ski-jump meet in Oslo, Norway last year a police officer stopped Tony to demand credentials—which were hidden somewhere under all those clothes.
"You don't know who I am?" asked Tony.
"Who are you?"
"I am the world-famous photographer, Tony Triolo, from the United States," he said.
"Oh," said the officer. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Triolo, sir. We didn't know it was you." Tony got the position he wanted, and the pictures.
In Rome, Triolo swept in for the Don Fullmer-Nino Benvenuti fight (SI, Feb. 14, 1966) and demanded bright red ring ropes, because he was shooting in color. Ridiculous, they said. Nobody puts red ropes around a ring. Tony put his arm around an official, whispered, "You don't know who I am?"—and got the ropes. They all know who he is now. To photograph ex-Olympic skater Tenley Albright, now a doctor, Tony commandeered a sterile smock at Boston's New England Baptist Hospital and scrubbed up. But he was not permitted to operate on the patient.
Several years ago, en route to an auto race for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Triolo survived a head-on crash in Florida. He was pitched through the windshield of a DKW, spent two months in a hospital and emerged with a rebuilt face. Through it all he kept wittily calm and came back to work with new eyelids that he says are sexier than the originals.
In photographing this week's hockey action, Triolo spent six games crouched tightly inside an ice-level wooden box (there wasn't room for the sheepskin coat), shooting pictures and dodging flying pucks and players. Naturally, he loved it.
Hockey is Tony's special fancy. A SPORTS ILLUSTRATED photographer since 1961, he began watching the game in his native Winnipeg, started shooting it in 1948. He served as an Army cameraman in the Far East from 1951 to 1953, and before joining SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was a photo-lab assistant for LIFE.
Tony's confident life on the edge of sports—especially auto racing and hockey—occasionally causes his wife, Cathy, to worry. But when he came home from his rinkside box he pointed out to Cathy that he had come through without a bump. "Don't worry, you know how I am," he said. So saying, he turned and walked into Cathy's clothes-drying rack, picking up a cut on his cheekbone and a black eye.
TONY TRIOLO WITH TENLEY ALBRIGHT