On National Kissing Day, Vancouver Riot Kiss Couple Open Up About Iconic Photo

Today is National Kissing Day, and what better time to check in on one iconic kissing couple made famous by the internet?

While it was not National Kissing Day, last year, the picture of a couple locked in what appeared to be a passionate kiss — unaffected by nearby riots in Vancouver over a hockey game — went viral and made the young lovers in the image unwittingly famous the world over. (Read our original piece about the Vancouver riot kiss here.)

As National Kissing Day reminds us, there is something more primal, basic and compelling about a kiss than all other forms of basic affection. And the image was arresting — in apparent chaos, the man cradled and kissed his lover as riot cops swarmed nearby. Without background, the image could be any uprising or demonstration in a year marked by such events — passed around in the very places such unrest was fomented, Twitter and Facebook.

Not long after, and prior to last year’s National Kissing Day, the couple was unmasked as Canadian woman Alex Thomas and her Aussie boyfriend Scott Jones. The pair were quickly tagged in Facebook reposts of the image, one that now hangs in poster size above their bed.

And we also quickly learned that it was not in fact an impromptu passionate embrace, but rather that Thomas had been knocked to the ground by rioters and that Jones had stooped to help her — the photographer catching a brief kiss between the two as he comforted her.

A year on, and on National Kissing Day, Jones explains:

“Nothing bad came from it, so we can’t regret it all,” says Jones. “I think it’s funny how everybody thinks it’s so romantic and that sort of thing — it really wasn’t.”

He adds:

“It was just a kiss to calm her down and it was captured in that second,” he says. “There’s another photo a couple seconds later where I’m looking back toward the cops and I’m pulling a weird face. That wasn’t a particularly romantic photo, but a few seconds before it was.”

Reflecting upon National Kissing Day, do you think the Vancouver riot kiss photo is one of the most romantic in recent years?