One of my first assignments for Sports Illustrated was the 1976 US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Trials. Fast forward 36 years (and 8 Olympics) and I was at the 2012 Trials in San Jose, California in June of 2012.
Prior to the Trials, America was ready to crown Jordyn Wieber the new Golden Girl of gymnastics, but out of nowhere a new star emerged -Gabby Douglas - and I, like much of America was captivated by her energy and grace.
In addition to shooting the usual Men’s and Women’s action from the floor at the Trials, I set up an overhead remote above the balance beam. While I had been setting up overhead cameras at gymnastics meets for years, the results were usually disappointing - this time was different.
Her arms and legs extended, her face looking up to the camera and the footprints and swirls of white chalk on the blue mat beneath her all combined to make this my all-time favorite image from one of my favorite sports.
Canon EOS-1D Mk IV, Canon EF 70-200mm IS lens @ 200mm, f4 @ 1/1250, ISO 2000.
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