Our favorite sports photos of 2021

We asked some of our photographers to choose their favorite sports images they’ve taken this year and tell us why they liked them. Look...


We asked some of our photographers to choose their favorite sports images they’ve taken this year and tell us why they liked them. Looked.

I received an email from a New York Times editor about a skate project and I immediately thought of Naiomi Glasses, whose skate videos on TikTok have gone viral. Glasses, 24, wears her traditional Navajo skirt, turquoise jewelry and bun as she navigates the sandstone on a board and four wheels.

I met her at a gas station in Rock Point, Arizona, and we climbed a mountain. I found a spot and followed her with my camera as she effortlessly skateboarded until the sun went down. This is one of my favorite photographs because it shows the beauty of skateboarding and the Navajo Nation.

Ku Stevens ran to honor his ancestors, including his great-grandfather, who escaped from a residential school. He also ran to become champion. Last month, Ku won the Nevada state title for fastest long-distance runner in high school.

The next day, Ku and his father, Delmar Stevens, offered tobacco to the four directions and the creator. I wanted to frame the moment from inside the family sweat lodge, so I ran inside and waited. When Ku and Delmar entered the frame, I waited for Delmar to raise his hand to offer tobacco to the westbound. I knew this was the moment I was aiming for. This is one of my favorite photographs because it shows the unconditional love between father and son and their love for their culture. It’s about recognizing the past, moving forward, embracing change and keeping traditions alive.

After Ku and his family entered the sweat lodge, I sat outside and listened as they sang a traditional Navajo song. I am Navajo, from the Navajo Nation reservation; I was 879 miles from home, but felt close to home.

Todd heisler

The captivating sports photography captures the spirit of the competition, and some of the best moments are found on the outskirts. This image, from our article on efforts to build skate parks across Montana, talks about the resilience needed to survive on a skateboard.

It reminds me of learning to skateboard when I was a kid. Pain and sweat. The feeling of freedom. The mix of individuality and camaraderie. Although the sport has grown in popularity – it made its Olympic debut in Tokyo this year – it is still defined as much by the kids of the skate park as it is by the pros.

I was 27 weeks pregnant when I photographed Australian pop star Cody Simpson who dreams of being an Olympian, during his swimming training in January. The golden hour light came in perfectly and I had to remember to watch my balance so as not to follow the light to the point that my gear and I ended up in the pool.

I remember Ruthie kicking as I lay by the pool. I was so excited to one day be able to tell her about these moments together. That, plus the light and the subject magically combined.

Gabriella Angotti Jones

When I grew up in Southern California, almost everyone I knew played competitive sports from a young age. The amount of money and time families spend in sports trying to get their kids to the best colleges is amazing.

When I arrived at the stadium of St. John Bosco High School in early October, I wanted to examine the blurred lines between amateur and professional sport here, while also referencing the classic by photographer Robert Clark work for the original book “Friday Night Lights”. I used three cameras, both digital and film, but the film photos turned out to be the closest to what I had in mind.

Our society puts a lot of pressure on adolescents and young adults to perform, to succeed, to ‘succeed’. I hope we will continue to report stories that examine this matter.

Chang W. Lee

Photographers at gymnastics events often position a remote-controlled camera on a catwalk pointing towards the balance beam or uneven bars. It is a safe bet for beautiful photos.

But on the last day of the US Olympic gymnastics trials in June, held in St. Louis, I climbed across the arena to put my remote camera over the safe, hoping I could capture Simone Biles performing one of her iconic moves, the double pike Yurchenko. It’s such a dangerous move that no other woman attempts it in competition.

You don’t see a lot of bird’s-eye photos from the vault because they are difficult to take – the action unfolds quickly and you only have one shot at the perfect moment. (There are plenty of opportunities to photograph a gymnast on uneven bars or balance beam.) But I thought it would be worth it if Biles got the move right.

Biles can fly so high that it’s hard to focus the camera in advance on where you think it will be. To prepare for aerial photos, I usually have someone on the ground lift a monopod in the air holding a piece of cardboard with an X on it, so I can focus on the X. But Biles can fly higher. that no one else can lift the cardboard box, so this shot is guesswork.

When it was Biles’ turn on the vault, she decided not to perform the Yurchenko double pike, opting for a less tiring vault to protect her ankles before the Olympics. But when I finally got to see the photo, even if it wasn’t the famous shot I was hoping for, I was happy. I had never seen a far away photo from a catwalk safe, and it was superb.

In August, 39-year-old Carli Lloyd announced her retirement, ending her successful football career. I spent a good part of October attending his last games and his retirement party, where I saw firsthand the influence that a person can have on the game. Fans who were too young to remember his hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final against Japan chanted his name and hoped for autographs from one of the greatest of all time.

Putting down roots for the success of women’s sports in this country can be a daunting task, but when football can produce players like Lloyd, the possibilities are endless for the beautiful game.

After more than a year without too much to celebrate, it was a pleasure to be with these fans in New York. while Italy won the European Football Championship. England started the final strong with an early goal, but Italy tied the score in the 67th minute and the game was tied until a tense penalty shootout.

With a final stop from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, the street erupted in celebration. Flares were lit and champagne erupted to the sound of “Bella Ciao” techno remixes.

James hill

At the Tokyo Olympics, the world’s best athletes competed in empty stadiums except for other athletes, officials and volunteers. Most Japanese fans who hoped to cheer on their favorite stars had to do so in front of a TV.

It was a particular disappointment for fans of softball and baseball, both very popular in Japan, who returned to the Olympic program for the first time since 2008.

In softball’s gold medal game, second-ranked Japan and the two-powerhouses of the sport, the United States, faced each other again in an Olympic final. The Japanese team won, as in 2008. Even in the almost empty stands, the sweetness of the home victory was clearly etched on the faces of the players.

I have arrived at South Cameron High School in southwest Louisiana in the first light of day, days before Hurricane Ida swept through the state. Cameron Parish had already been devastated by Hurricane Laura a year earlier, and the high school gymnasium had been leveled, leaving the athletes with nowhere to train.

The factual nature of athletes who were asked to pack sports equipment before a storm was a reality check. There was some urgency in storing the equipment as the school was rented out early that day to give families a few days to evacuate. Most importantly, it seemed like a normal activity for the coach and the students, as if the effects of climate change had just become part of their routine.

It was a long day of walking around Grand Isle, Louisiana under a blazing sun. We met Londyn Resweber, 14, in his family’s house in the east of the island. Fortunately for them, the east side had not been as badly damaged as the west side by Hurricane Ida.

It was amazing to see Londyn’s determination to continue training for the State Cross Country Championships, especially since none of his teammates returned to Grand Isle after evacuating. We got into a golf cart with her mother, who paced back and forth as she ran through the windswept, sand-filled landscape.

Londyn was 25th, having finished fifth last year. I think it’s fair to say that a hurricane leveling your city is a perfectly acceptable reason for not finishing as high as you hoped. But what struck me was everyone’s determination not to let these regular disasters distract Londyn from her goals.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Our favorite sports photos of 2021
Our favorite sports photos of 2021
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