Feb 13th, 2014
I have a confession to make: I really do not care about sports. (And I love to shock people saying this…. :-) )What I mean is: I am not that interested in who wins or how high or how fast somebody manages to reach.
No, I like the people in this. I admire the passion, the dedication, the training, the focus these people have. Whatever their respective sport is.
With photography I try to respect that. Show – if possible and within the limits of one’s skills – that focus and dedication. And naturally, I am very much into the aesthetics of the whole. So to me it’s more about “how to create the perfect visuals” than “who is the first one over the line”.
But today was a bit different. I was really into the competion, counting seconds and fractions of those seconds…
Aino-Kaisa Saarinen started into this race as a bit of an underdog. It seemed like an impossible task to do. She would have to beat Kowalzyk, Björgen, Johaug, Kalla and Weng… not to mention the others.
As the race went on she did well, really well. She managed to leave Weng and Björgen behind her… Justyna and Charlotte were beyond her, but she had a chance to beat Therese Johaug.
I was watching it by the finishing line, one eye to the track, another to the scoreboard, trying to count the seconds.
I love the staggered start competition. It is so much more exiting than the mass starts. And I feel it is a shame that e.g. men’s 50km is nowadays a mass start: you ski in a group for 48km’s and then you have a sprint race. Not what the greatest of all the ski races should be. But maybe more about that later. Today it was a staggered start and what a race it was.
She did great, she really fought it hard. But it was not enough. It came down to two seconds… to Therese Johaugs favor. Looking at the two last images, I don’t think we have to guess what is going on in the minds of these two remarkable athletes.
But that’s sports for you, folks. Me – typically quite untouched by who wins and who doesn’t – I was really impressed by the fight she put up. Leaving Björgen and Weng and all the others behind her.
But at the end of the day: two seconds missing from the medal.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the race. All shot with the Canon 200-400/4 zoom, which I used today for the first time in these games. It’s a beautiful lens for something like this, when there is plenty of light and you have time to adjust the focal length to get several images from the same spot.
I typically rave about the 400/2.8 – as I consider it one if not THE best sports glass ever made – but I really like the versatility of this one.
It has only one downside: the price tag, which presently is c. 12 000€