Sunday, August 14, 2016

Photographing the last USA men's water polo game of this Olympics, and being a part of the family

Today was the last water polo match for the men of Team USA and they went out on a high note, beating Italy with a score of 10 to 7. Although they were not in medal contention, they held their heads high and played a great comeback game.

For those of you who don't know the sport (and I didn't until about 5 years ago), it is very physical, with a lot of activity happening under the water.

It is a fun sport to photograph, with lots of water trails coming off the athletes and the ball.

Tony Azavedo, one of the American veterans scored two goals tonight.

I have photographed a lot of water polo games and it still amazes me how high they can kick themselves out of the water.

Another veteran on the team, is goaltender Merrill Moses. I was very happy to get this shot of him making an awesome stop against the Italian team.

More water trails. For those of you wondering how to capture these, it is all about the shutter speed of your camera. I was shooting at 1/1000 sec to freeze the water and action.

Another stop by Merrill.

And another shot by Tony.

At the end of the game, I kept shooting, because I wanted to capture the emotion of the athletes as some of them, who have been in numerous Olympic Games, may have just played their last Olympics.

Jesse Smith is another of those guys. He was incredibly nice to me in London, by giving me his suit after the last game (you may remember the shot of him with his baby, which he loved), and he every bit the gentleman today.

Tony soaking it all in.

It was nice to see smiles mixed in there as well.

I have to tell you all that these guys are all a class act. There is not one of them who is not a complete gentleman. The ages range from 18 to 39, and that does not seem to be a factor in the maturity of the team. As they came through the mix zone after the game, many of them stopped to talk and to thank me for capturing the photos for them. I know that some of them may not return in Japan in 2020, but I wish they all would. I will miss them.

After the game was over and the guys got cleaned up, they are all met with their friends and family. I joined in on the impromptu get together, and being the photographer at heart, kept shooting. I took a bunch of family photos for them (but not posting those here since those are personal) and also grabbed this shot of Merrill and Tony in front of the Olympic Park.

I am bummed that they are not going home with medals, but more bummed that we are going our separate ways once again. I am truly honored to be considered a part of this family.

Tomorrow is the American woman's quarterfinals game, and I am very excited about that. Another great group of athletes and friends. Go team!!!


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1 comment:

crazysportsapp said...

Very nice post and water polo are very interesting game. Live sports app is coming soon Crazysportsapp