Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Faces of the Games

It's been a week since I've returned from Greece and the 2011 Special Olympics World Games and about time I kick start my blog again.  "Are you recovered?" I'm asked.  Hmmmm, well, never quite the same in any regard, you always leave part of yourself behind, with the people you meet, the athletes you coach and the places you see.  Mostly, it's the people who come into your life, and in Special Olympics, those people become family in many ways...and that is a good thing.

I went into these games with no photography goal in mind-which was good and bad.  My priority was to be the best head coach I could, to give everything I knew to make sure the athletes and coaches had a successful World Games, because that is what always should be the most important thing here.  The sights, the events, the ceremonies, are all fine, but we're here for the athletes and they are here to compete.  So photography, if it was going to happen, would just happen along the way.  I always had my compact camera and on some days I'd sling my SLR around as well.  With 170 countries represented at the games and most of them sporting a track (Athletics) team, I had ample time to just observe athletes and coaches from everywhere across the globe.  Soon a small theme developed in my head, "Faces of the Games" I started to think of it as.  I had sort of done the same in Idaho at the Winder World Games, but this was different, many more cultures, many more athletes and many more faces.  I started to just make pictures of our athletes, but soon, I started also capturing other athletes as well.

I've come to understand that half of a making a picture is in front of the camera, and the other half is behind it.  It took me a long time to wrap my head around that thought-that a photograph is also a reflection of the person taking the picture, almost a self portrait.  There is a conscious decision every time the shutter is pressed and a photograph is edited....... and for me, it's a gut decision and I live with it.  My hope in the sample of photographs that follow is that something of me is in every one, in every face and what I saw and felt when I was there in that time and place.  That may be the best thing a photographer can ever share.
Jermane-Team USA powerlifter.  Saw him lift a small car and do the most athletic splits ever.
Lauren-Medal or no medal, she could click on a smile. Distance runners feared her.
Itzel-Sprinter, Jumper-Team USA.One of my Favorites-perfect form in sprints as well as sleep.
James-6:30am, Half Marathon, Team USA.  One of "My" guys, and the most polite young man ever.  T-minus 1 hour til race.
"Denise"-Our Greek DAL, 17 years old. Scared as heck sometimes, but never lost us and cried when we left her.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this puts me back there!!! Deb