All together now: “Awwz!” The iconic image of a Vancouver couple kissing during the melee that followed the Canucks Wednesday night defeat to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals riot fuelled an online frenzy of photographic mash-ups.
Meet 29-year-old Australian Scott Jones and his girlfriend, Canada’s own Alex Thomas: The couple whose unlikely lovefest in the middle of a melee have turned the pair into the web’s newest viral stars.
In an interview with The Vancouver Sun, photographer Richard Lam says he was just trying to avoid disaster when he saw the couple kissing on the ground. He took a few photos, but didn’t think much of it. Lam calls the image both “startling and sexual.”
“I didn’t even look at it. A colleague said ‘nice photo’. Then I went back to the editing room, and looked at it. My jaw dropped…I’ve been fascinated by [the response]. I don’t want to sound idealistic – but I was just doing my job.”
Witnesses tell tabloid reporters that the young couple was rushed by riot police as the streets of Vancouver were flooded with fire and looting hockey buffs — who the Canucks organization claims are “anarchrists” — and that the photo captures the pair moments later.
“The girl who was knocked over landed head first on the pavement with her boyfriend landed partially on top of her,” says an eyewitness, identified only as William. “She was in visible pain, crying, but the 2 officers gave them a parting shove and moved on. By standers went to go make sure she was ok. I understand that the front line police have to control the crowd, but it is a bit ridiculous that they couldn’t have other officers or paramedics behind the line to help anyone who is hurt.”
Another photo of the couple shows other bystanders later attempting to help Thomas and Jones.
On Friday morning, Brett Jones, Scott’s father, posted this update on his Facebook profile from the family’s home in Perth, Australia: “This is my son. How’s that for making love not war!” Jones says Thomas was injured and his son was coming to her aid.
As expected, those with a bit of extra time on their hands and creative Photoshop skills couldn’t help but ‘alter’ the original image just a wee bit. BleacherReport.com has already compiled a list of the best “Best “Vancouver Riot Kiss” memes on the Internet.