Rio 2016: Groundhog Day

01_rio_081416Aug 13, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Keith Sanderson (USA) in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol qualification in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Shooting Centre.

With just a little over a week left here in Rio, myself and pretty much everyone on the USA Today Sports Images team has reached the point that we like to refer to as Groundhog Day (a take on the 1993 Bill Murray film where the same day keeps reoccurring over and over again). Groundhog Day at the Olympics usually entails having trouble remembering what day of the week it is, experiencing difficulty remembering whether you’ve eaten an actual meal yet, as well as giving up hope for more than four hours of sleep per night. Pretty much everything on my end is starting to run low, including the aforementioned sleep, energy in general, clean laundry, Cliff Bars, patience for late shuttle busses, as well as the strength to keep lugging a 400mm lens on my shoulder to every event I shoot (somehow it always ends up getting used).

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Posted in Photography, Photojournalism, Rio Summer Olympics, Sports on August 14th, 2016. 1 Comment.

Rio 2016: Textbook Examples

01_rio_0801016Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Denis Gargaud Chanut of France celebrates after winning the men’s canoe single final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Whitewater Stadium.

I believe one of the most inspiring things a person can do in life is to be genuinely gracious towards someone who’s come out ahead of them. I’m extremely fortunate that, back home, in my inner-circle of friends, we’re continuously celebrating each others’ accomplishments, even if one or more members of the circle could be viewed as “ahead” of the others at a given time. I think we’ve all realized that the more people we surround ourselves with who are achieving their goals and dreams, the more likely that their momentum of success will transfer to us with regards to our pursuits.

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Rio 2016: Olympics High

01_rio_0800816Aug 6, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Colombia forward Isabel Cristina Romero Benitez (left) gets a hand to her face by USA forward Nana Faavesi (center) as Faavesi runs the ball during a rugby sevens match between the USA and Colombia at Deodoro Stadium in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

As the beacon tower from the sleepy Afonsos Air Force Base across the way cuts through the hushed night with its rhythmic green and white winks, an inviting cool breeze from the mountains beyond brings an even more relaxed sensation to my apartment balcony. In truth, relaxed is the last adjective I expected to use a week ago as I prepared to travel to Brazil. On the first bus ride here, especially after witnessing the motorcycle fatality on the road, I completely expected to be on-edge and looking forward to returning home daily.

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Rio 2016: Times Like This

01_rio_080616 Aug 5, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Fireworks launch over the stadium during the opening ceremonies for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Maracanã.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve become keenly aware of something quite profound occurring here in Rio – I feel removed from myself, almost as if I’m dreaming. I should probably clarify that I still feel like myself, in essence. However, being immersed in such a foreign (both literally and figuratively) land has given me a feeling best described of having an outer-mind experience. Matters that I was concerned with at home just days ago seem trivial to me now. The experiences I’ve had here in just a few days since arriving have been quite thought-provoking and filled with some much-needed perspective.  My experience yesterday covering fireworks during the opening ceremony only compounded this feeling.

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