|Peter Henning (left with IRONMAN Hawaii Race Director Diana Bertsch) will be inducted into IRONMAN's Hall of Fame. Photo: Ironman|
Donnerstag, 11. Juli 2013
Peter Henning, WTC's Senior Vice President TV Production to Be Inductedinto IRONMAN Hall of Fame
Sixteen-time Emmy-award winner Peter Henning honored for his incredible contributions to IRONMAN history.
Thirteen years ago, Peter Henning stood in the control room at IRONMAN Lake Placid, his first race as IRONMAN’s senior vice president of television. When a frazzled director shouted for a shot of the transition area, Henning saw that the rest of the crew was scrambling with other tasks. So he picked up a camera and headed out himself.
"You better grab a tripod," someone yelled as Henning went out the door. "I’ll be fine," he said under his breath.
Tripod? This is a man who had stood on the back of a motorcycle capturing high-speed descents through the Alps and the Pyrenees for a decade at the Tour de France. He’d covered the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii, expeditions across Antarctica, the Raid Galloise, the Eco-Challenge and the Iditarod Sled Dog race. Half an hour standing still in the hot sun in Lake Placid? Piece of cake.
Henning has known no other life than that of a cameraman, producer and director. His father, Elton, was a combat cameraman during the Second World War and served as a civilian advisor to the US Army Signal Photographic Section in Europe from 1946 until 1953. It was while living in Vienna, Austria that Henning was given his first camera on his sixth birthday—a 16 mm Filmo camera, a light meter and 100 feet of Plus X film. His assignment was to bring back a story about automobile traffic.
Every weekend until he was 11, Henning received a different assignment from his father. It was during these years that Henning’s future Emmy-winning career was moulded.
After graduating from college, Henning covered the war in Vietnam and the action from many other hotspots around the world from Central America to the Middle East. After almost a decade spent in war zones, he joined ABC Sports and began a 30-year freelance career that saw him film, direct and produce shows for TheWide World of Sports, The American Sportsman and other specials for all three major American networks. In addition to travelling to remote locations around the world (the North and South Pole, Tibet, Mongolia and China, amongst others), Henning covered every Olympic Games from 1972 to 2000.
During his 12 years with IRONMAN, he continued his reputation as one of the world’s top sports television producers. Thanks to Henning and his incredible crew, the world was introduced to many inspirational IRONMAN athletes, including Jon "Blazeman" Blais, who completed the race in Kona with ALS; Sister Madonna Buder, the oldest female IRONMAN finisher; and the ageless Lew Hollander, who finished the race when he was 81. It was his crew that captured the story of double-leg amputee Rudy Garcia-Tolson, the epic hand cycle battle between Carlos Moleda and David Bailey, the distraught Sarah Reinertsen when she missed the bike cutoff in 2004 and then her emotional finish a year later.
Every year, Henning’s production of the most grueling one-day sporting event in the world captured the day's emotion and drama, leaving barely a dry eye in the house. A 16-time Emmy award winner himself, Henning helped the coverage of the IRONMAN World Championship win its 16thEmmy last year for Outstanding Camera Work. It came as no surprise to all of the crew when Henning congratulated the entire team, and IRONMAN athletes themselves, during his acceptance speech.
"These awards reflect the hard work and dedication of a fantastic production team," Henning said. "However, without the unbelievable cooperation of the dedicated athletes, volunteers and IRONMAN team who continue to demonstrate a quest for excellence, none of this would be possible."
For over a decade, Henning led by example in that quest for excellence. Now it’s our turn to recognize his contribution to the sport. Someone else will have to grab a camera at this year’s welcome dinner at the IRONMAN World Championship—Henning will be busy up on stage making an acceptance speech.