Mon Jun 20 10:34am EDT
After all the chaotic images that emerged from the Vancouver Game 7 riots last week — burning, looting, fighting — one image instantly became iconic: Scott Jones kissing his girlfriend Alex Thomas, as riot police marched down a debris-covered road.
Jones, a bartender from Australia, reached down to comfort Canadian college student Thomas after police knocked her to the ground following Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. Richard Lam, a news photographer on the scene, snapped the photo that became an instant sensation around the globe.
The couple appeared on NBC's "The Today Show" on Monday, talking about what brought them to the streets of Vancouver, the incident with police and their instant celebrity:
Jones said he was a "tourist" last Wednesday, there to see what would happen if the Canucks won or lost."I didn't think we were in danger down there until the riot police came along," he said.
As for the kiss: "I was just trying to calm her down. It was pretty scary for her," said Jones.
"It seemed like the best thing to do."
Thomas said it all happened fast. "We never expected it to change into that situation so quickly," said Thomas, who said in her six months dating Jones she expected he'd react as he did in the riot.
"I would have never have expected anything less."
Another interesting revelation: Lam, the photographer, said he wasn't aware he had captured the image, as he was being pushed away by police at the time.
But he did, and his photograph remains a beacon of compassion in the middle of such abject malice.
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