from Photographers' Blog:

Finding Funtik

June 10, 2012

By Will Webster

Who could have foreseen what the late Paul the Octopus started when he began picking the winning teams at the 2010 World Cup? Presumably he could have, he was clairvoyant. But he may have struggled to predict the psychic circus that has appeared in the last week before the opening of the EURO2012 championship:  Fred the ferret, an elephant called Chitta and Kiev’s very own Funtik the pig.

from Photographers' Blog:

The Cuban gazelle

June 6, 2012

By Desmond Boylan

A mixture of gazelle and human is the impression Dayron gave me when he took off from where I was standing on the training grounds and jumped the first hurdle. He became tiny in the lens very fast, and when he was running towards me there wasn't much time to shoot until he filled the frame.

Who will win Euro 2012? It is anyone’s guess

June 6, 2012

The bookmakers might say Spain again and people who think they are in the know might say Germany, but really no one is sure who will triumph in the finals in Ukraine and Poland.

from Photographers' Blog:

Dream of gold

By Swoan Parker
June 5, 2012

By Swoan Parker

Gold in Haiti should no longer be just a dream. Even before prospective mining begins in the country's northern hills, the realization of it all could be little more than one month away. Without investing millions and weighing only 52 kg (114 pounds), 21-year-old Linouse Desravines, the country’s only judoka to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, is all it might take for Haiti to acquire gold.

The late-night fate of Europe’s NBA fans

June 2, 2012
By Phil O’Connor Being a fan of any team is usually a thankless task. But following the fortunes of an NBA team from Europe – especially at this time of the year – is bordering on masochism. I fell for the charms of the world’s best basketball league back in the eighties, when Magic Johnson and his “Showtime” Lakers and Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics were the two top teams it had. The duels between Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Robert “the Chief” Parrish, the scoring and rebounding of James Worthy and Kevin McHale, the deep threat of Danny Ainge – not to mention Bird and Johnson – hooked me for life on the game. The advent of Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Clyde Drexler only added to it, and the Dream Team at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 completed the NBA’s takeover of world basketball consciousness. It might seem odd that a teenager from a non-basketball nation like Ireland would fall for its charms, but given Boston’s large Irish community and the fact that there was a good likelihood I’d wind up emigrating there, it wasn’t so strange after all. I was also the tallest kid in the class all through school, which meant that if I was going to be good at any sport, I’d have a head start in basketball. Long before the internet, games and scores were followed under the covers in our Dublin home, thanks to the late-night broadcasts on the US Armed Forces Radio station. I’d often fall asleep waiting on the sports report or whatever game was on to finish. Back then, Bird was my hero, and not just for his shooting ability; his passing was breathtaking, and anyone who has ever played any ball-sport will recognise his outstanding ability and vision. I might never have become a resident of “Southie”, and I may have flirted with the greatness of His Airness when Jordan was at his peak, but the Celtics have always been my team. Nowadays it’s easier to keep up with their progress than ever before, but the advent of games streamed live on the internet has been both a pleasure and a chore. As summer begins in Europe, it means a lot of very late nights as the Celtics do battle with the Miami Heat for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. As a sports reporter, I don’t have a normal working life; a lot of what we cover takes place at night or at weekends, so our working days start later than most. Unfortunately, my children have yet to show an understanding of why I have to stay up until dawn watching Rajon Rondo play out of his skin, scoring 44 points and still losing game 2 in the conference final. They still get me up at 7 am, even if I’ve only just gone to bed. Days are spent in a state of mental exhaustion, and by the time I’ve recovered from one all-nighter, it’s tip-off time again. Next week I head for the European soccer championship in Kiev, Ukraine, which will only complicate my basketball fix. Hopefully I’ll have a few more sleepless nights this summer as the Celtics beat the Heat and go all the way to another championship.

from Photographers' Blog:

Russia’s hooligans

May 30, 2012

By Maxim Shemetov

Photographing a soccer match for the first time, I realized that shooting the fans can be more interesting than covering the game itself.

All is not well between the sticks in Denmark

May 29, 2012

Phil O’Connor

Perhaps understandably, nowhere in his writings are his views on international football recorded. 

“Luuuke” golf beginning to win over fans

May 29, 2012

Luke Donald’s complete dominance of Wentworth’s brutal West Course has led the world to sit up and take notice, while his chanting fans have also made their mark.

from Photographers' Blog:

At home with Hercules

May 28, 2012

By Peter Andrews

When asked which Polish athlete has a chance at the London Olympics I immediately thought of the shot put champion Tomasz Majewski.

Drogba´s departure a blow for Africa

May 22, 2012

By Mark Gleeson

Celebrations down London´s King’s Road would have been matched for fervour and passion by those in Abidjan on Saturday night as Didier Drogba delivered for Chelsea.