Covering the Olympic Games is extremely demanding work performed in ways made to appear easy. It requires a high degree of preparation, teamwork and stamina.

All of those involved in this photographic competition are winners in their own right. They work long days and sleepless nights, hiking up snow-covered mountains, lugging upwards of 50 pounds of photographic equipment. They navigate a maze of credential challenges and digital dilemmas. They feed on bottled water and power snacks. They arrive early, wait in long lines and document the events of the games as the eyes of the world.

Poynter Online asked representatives of five media companies that have focused tremendous dedication and commitment on the coverage to share a selection of their memorable Olympic photographs.

Michael Madrid, USA Today sports photo editor: "Summer Games, Winter Games -- it doesn't matter. It is always a series of incredible events that are tremendous photographs waiting to be made. Many of the men and women on our photography crew are Olympic veterans many times over; others are rookies, yet they all find new photographs of similar events under similar conditions."

The USA Today selection was editied from more than 4,000 photographs transmitted by photographers and photo editors from Italy since the games began 14 days ago.

Mike Feldman, deputy director of photography/international at The Associated Press: "I chose the images for either peak action or peak jubilation along with some that were just strong pictorials."  On average, the AP is moving up to 700 images day.

Harry E. Walker, director of Knight Ridder/Tribune Photo Service and Photographer’s Showcase: Four years ago, Walker was the deputy photo chief for the Salt Lake Olympic games. This year he found himself marveling over the stories behind the photographs and what makes certain images so special. His take on Ron Jenkins of The Fort Worth Star Telegraph:  “He spent eight hours on the side of a mountain to get the photograph and at one point, because the race had been delayed so long, he built a cave in the snow so he could keep warm.” The pay-off: a photograph of Bode Miller losing control during the men's Super-G downhill competition.

Brandon Lopez, director of photography, Getty Images Sport: “The Getty Images photographers are amongst the hardest working and most talented representing the Winter Olympic Games.  They continue to amaze our editors, our support staff and of course our customers each day with photographs no one even imagined possible.  It's an event like the Olympics that allows our photographers the freedom to come away with the pictures that Getty Images has always been recognized for.  But not to forget, this Olympics has been a true team effort for us.  We've been able to put together our most talented support team ever: consisting of managers, editors and technical support staff, to insure those photos are made available for everyone to see. Of course the days are long and grueling, but you'll never hear a single complaint about being at the greatest sporting event around.”

John Blackmar, photo director: “What struck me the most about working as a picture editor for during the Winter Olympics was the incredible teamwork that was on display between the photographers and photo department. The logistics of planning which photographer would go where, and how the images would be captioned and then transmitted in order to meet demand for our up-to-the-minute coverage was new for everyone, and this teamwork helped make it happen. Finding great pictures was easy, because we have great photographers, but the demand for immediate coverage and getting photos up on the Web site quickly was the greatest challenge.”

The events of the games include spectacular scenery and moments that are historic, thrilling and quiet. The photographers, editors, photo managers, marshals, runners and technicians work hard to bring the events of the game to people unable to witness the games for themselves.