Monday, July 23, 2012

The Summer Olympic Trials of 2012, in Eugene, Oregon

This year I was honored by Chobani in being chosen to cover a part of the Olympic Trials in Eugene Oregon. It was an amazing adventure that humbled me, becoming a true accent of my career so far. Below are some of my photography highlights of the event. I saw history in the making with Ashton Eaton's story, which will be a part two blog post, but I was also privileged to see a variety of other athletes demonstrate virtually unparalleled athleticism. The events I covered are below, in chronological order; the women's triple jump, women's 100 meter and 400 meter,  men's 800 meter, 400 meter, and 1,500 meter, women's 100 meter hurdles, women's pole vault, women's second 400 meter and finally the men's 100 meter. The difficulty of the events, paired with the frequent rain and harsh wind, seemed to bring forth an intense competitive energy with the joy of completion ever sweeter. I was wrapped in the emotion of the adornment of the crowd, the embraces of family members and the swell of American pride. One day I hope I'll go again, maybe even just as a spectator with my own family, to yet again be a part of something brilliant and historic.

Pouring rain on the first day of my shoot, the Olympic Trail employees used wind blowers to dry Oregon University's Hayward Field. 
For the two days that I was covering this event I felt carried away by a hum of excitement. I got to be in the pit with the "big boys" 90 percent, 40+ old, male photographers with pro athletic photo gear in the pouring rain. And even though I didn't have the same set up, I felt like a puppy champ!
 KU's triple jumper, Andrea Geubelle, flies and lands into the pit spraying wet sand.
Women's 100 meter and 400 meter sweet shots.
Mens' 800, 400, and some of the 1,500 meter sweet shots, which include extra shots of Eaton's victory. One shot in particular where the proud Oregon Duck holds his hands up in an "O" to signify his love for the University.
Women's 100 meter hurdles with the three winners; Lolo Jones, Dawn Harper, and Kellie Wells.
The grace and beauty of the pole vaulters was like watching something out of a science fiction movie.
In the women's final 400 meter Sanya Richards-Ross, a past Olympic competitor, took to the field like a bird in flight. She was a marvel to watch as she flew past her opponents to attain an Olympic spot. I will definitely have my eye on her.

Finally, the men's 100 meter. It was an amazing way to end my Olympic Trial's experience, as I saw Justin Gatlin and Ryan Bailey congratulate each other, tears streaming down their faces, all the while holding up their sons in celebration of their victory. This was probably one of the most touching moments I've ever been blessed to capture.

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