Four years ago this month, the Vancouver Canucks lost in the seventh game of the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup finals. The city erupted in riots shortly afterwards, as it is wont to do on such occasions, with the normally docile downtown descending into chaos. Amid the tear-gas and burning cop cars, photographer Rich Lam took an now-famous photo of a couple sharing a kiss while lying in the street.
The riot kiss image spread almost instantly through international media outlets and spurred a slew of online memes, as mystery grew over the identity of the couple. Days after the Canucks' defeat, the duo were identified as Canadian Alex Thomas and Australian Scott Jones, after the latter's family members named them to the public.
Now, a few years later, The WorldPost has learned that Thomas and Jones are still together and living in Australia, in a sign that at least one good thing came from the city's multimillion-dollar destruction.
Police on horseback ride through the street past a fire on June 15, 2011, in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
"It’s been four years and Alex has applied for citizenship,” Jones told The WorldPost. The two share a place in Melbourne, where Jones is a bar manager and Thomas works in sewage planning and wastewater treatment. While Jones says the photo has affected their lives "not a hell of a lot," it still pops up in surprising ways from time to time.
"There was a journal article that referenced it, and I couldn’t believe that there was this photo in academia like that,” Thomas told The WorldPost. "People send us links where it makes top lists of whatever category they put it in," said Jones.
The photo was taken just days before the two were set to go on vacation, Thomas said. Caught up in the rioting, she was knocked down as police attempted to clear the street, and was comforted by Jones, who she'd been dating for six months at that point.
Though Jones and Thomas are now out of the media spotlight, Jones says they did get a memento in addition to the memories.
“Rich Lam, who took the photo, he gave us both a copy of it that he signed, and we have one of those up in the bedroom.”
Riot police walk in the street as a couple kisses on June 15, 2011, in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)