Absolutely Perfectly Times Sports Photos
Competitive sports and the athletes that compete in them are a huge part of our everyday lives. Every day, athletes display skill and grit. There are always photographers and spectators present at the games and events, taking lots of photos. Some of those photos are taken at the perfect moment, capturing silly faces in mid-air, the seconds before hitting the floor or being hit with something, defying the laws of gravity, and so much more. We always see the amazing moments but what most of us don't see are the bloopers caught on camera at just the right moment.
Tumbles And Somersaults
When you look at this picture, it might be a little confusing as to what is happening. It looks like these girls might be practicing their tumbles and somersaults. Kristina Karapetian and Tatyana Fenrikova are pro athletes from Kazakhstan, and they are playing professional volleyball in this photo.
It is a photo from the Women's Volleyball preliminaries and shows Tatyana on her knees and Kristina tumbling over while going after the ball.
A Difficult Sport With The Funniest Faces
Women's weightlifting is a very difficult sport and often leads to some really funny faces. The women competing in international level games, such as the Women's Weightlifting competition at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, are incredibly passionate about their sport.
Everyone competing is there to win, and they bring their all. As we all know, when you are lifting a lot of weight, it takes everything you have and almost always results in hilarious faces. That goes for New Zealand's Andrea Ham as well.
Swimming In Slow Motion
This photo is amazing and almost seems like the photographer had the lens filtered onto the swimmer's face. The U.S. swimmer in the photo is somehow defying the laws of gravity as he does his backstroke swim above pool waters.
The photo is so clear and in slow motion, showing surface tension. The way he is breaking through the water makes it look more like a gel than a true liquid.
High Diving Can Get Ugly
Olympic diving is not an easy sport because it involves a lot of acrobatic maneuvers in just a couple of seconds before you hit the water. To most of us, it looks very graceful, watching the diver effortlessly go into the water with almost no splash.
However, the diver has a lot to think about on their way down, and this man's intense face says it all as he wants to make sure he executes the perfect dive. The camera captured the diver's face in mid-air.
Bullfighting Is No Joke
Being a cowboy is no easy task and riding a bull is downright dangerous as a bull has great strength and can be extremely volatile. This photo is of Kody Lostroh, who was competing in the finals of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo in Calgary.
Kody ended up with a stubborn bull who dramatically threw him off. He was sent flying, upside down, almost like an action hero.
That's Got To Hurt
It takes the phrase, 'keep an eye on the ball,' to a whole new level. A baseball is thrown at extremely high speeds, especially in Major League Baseball. There is no doubt that this player's nose was broken after being hit by the baseball.
The Diamondbacks fielder decided to catch the ball with his face instead of his baseball glove and the ball left a red imprint on the player's nose. The photo was able to capture the split second before the baseball hit him in the nose.
Cracking The Skull
This photo is of two men cage-fighting, and the photo captured the second that one fighter executed a beautiful left body kick. The kick rocked the opponent's torso and distorted his back skull tattoo in the process.
It looks like the face of the skull on this fighter's back has had its cheek caved in. The trained fighters are able to hit important parts of the body hard, and this photo captures the ripples from the kick.
Hard To Play Tennis With Your Hair In Your Face
Tennis can be a difficult sport but having your eyes covered up definitely makes things trickier. Having to return a one hundred-plus-mile-per-hour serve while flying across the court is no easy task.
The sport requires full focus and energy, but it is not recommended to use a 'blindfold.' This women's ponytail going into her face and covering her eyes most likely spelled defeat.
Crashing In The Sand
This woman is playing volleyball in the sand, and volleyball is a team sport typically played on the beach. It's hard to know if she fell after jumping really high or while trying to get to the ball.
She really kicked up a lot of sand, and the camera was able to capture the moment she did. She lands on the field and ends up in an explosion of particles, looking like a human bomb.
In baseball, the batter has two jobs; one is to hit the ball, and then they have to make their way around the bases, ultimately making it to home base. Manny Ramirez shows his determination to get to the base safely.
He took a chance and dove in style through the air like Superman. There just so happened to be a photographer ready to capture the moment that Ramirez flew through the air.
Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox baseball team is one of the best pitchers in the MLB. He puts such immense torque and force into his signature fastball that when he pitches, his elbow looks almost unnatural; it is almost parallel to the ground, creating the illusion of a dislocated elbow.
The result of his pitch results in an almost unhittable pitch, getting batters out more often than not. Pitching is a motion that is incredibly unnatural and taxing.
Like Looking In A Mirror
Wakeboarding and other water activities can be very dangerous but also really awesome if you know what you are doing. This extreme athlete performs a death-defying trick that would be terrifying.
He is a modern-day daredevil and was able to pull off an amazing move where it looks like he has a twin in the photo. He is completely parallel to the water and just inches above it.
That Is Going To Hurt
Most of the time, when you get hit with a ball or whatever, you don't usually see it coming. However, this woman playing volleyball was very aware that the ball was coming straight at her face.
With no time to react, she just braced herself. The world of sports is often full of adrenaline-pumping highs and also full of twists, turns, and unexpected lows. Hopefully, the impact wasn't too horrible for this woman.
That's Not The Soccer Ball
A goalie's job on a sports team is to defend the goal at all costs and keep the other team's ball or puck out of the goal. You have to keep the other team from scoring and sometimes, the goalie takes their job a little too seriously.
This photo shows the goalie going for the ball but, instead, grabbing the other player's head. It wasn't intended, obviously, but it still probably didn't feel the best and was a surprise to all watching.
Is That One Or Two People?
When you first look at this photo, it's kind of confusing as it looks like there is just a woman with some unexpected talent or proportions. In reality, there are two women in the water performing a synchronized swimming routine.
It shows one woman's head above water, and the other woman's head is underwater, making them look like one long human caterpillar. Synchronized swimming is a fascinating sport.
You're Going Down With Me
Team sports require multiple athletes to work together in a coordinated effort, and the result is sometimes very impressive. However, there are times when they don't work together very well, and this photo shows one of those moments.
It shows one player taking a fall and taking down another player with them. The two men are playing cricket, which is usually a relaxing sport, but these two are moments away from a painful tumble.
A Headless Gymnast
Gymnasts are amazing at what they can do with their bodies. They are meant to be full of grace, precision, and elegance, especially Olympic gymnasts.
This photo is of Chinese professional gymnast Zhao Yating during her Rhythmic Gymnastics Team All-Around final routine. The photo looks like an optical illusion image and, at a quick glance, looks like she doesn't have a head. In reality, it's just good timing.
Gymnast Or Pretzel?
Gymnasts are basically inhuman because they are able to defy gravity and do insane tricks that most of us would never even dream of trying to do. The gymnast in the photo is Zuo Tong, and she is photographed in mid-air.
She is twisted in the air and looks like a twisted pretzel. It's hard to believe that a human can bend like that, but when she lands back on her feet, she is back to looking like a normal human.
Dangerous Horse Racing
Horse racing has been a staple for sports fans for many years, but it can be dangerous. This jockey's horse decided he didn't really feel like cooperating and racing today. Jockeys are trained to handle horses, but sometimes the horse gets the best of the jockey.
This horse won and managed to throw his rider. The photographer was able to capture the exact moment when the rider came flying off, with her feet in the air and all.
An Impressive Contortion
There is flexibility, and then there is insanity. Athletes tend to be more flexible than the average person, but this figure skater is far more than just flexible. She was able to pull off a very impressive move when she pulled her leg up beside her head.
The skater is Russian Julia Lipnitskaia, and she was performing in Shanghai when she pulled off the move and brought her skate above her head. The photographer snapped the photo at just the perfect time.
How Is That Possible?
If someone told you that there was a man riding his dirt bike on the water, you wouldn’t believe it. However, Robbie Maddison, a stuntman and skilled rider, uses a specialized dirt bike to churn the water underneath his wheels.
Most people wouldn’t be able to accomplish this, even with the right equipment. Maddison stated that this stunt in the Pacific Ocean took quite a while to prepare for.
Athletes who jump hurdles appear to defy the laws of physics as most of us aren’t agile enough to jump hurdles. The photographer was able to capture this person giving it their all to make it over this hurdle.
It’s a great shot of him going over the bar, showing how he bends to make it over. It looks like a very unnatural move for the human body, but somehow they make it look easy.
That Can't Feel Good
A misguided swing can send the ball in the wrong direction and makes the player in the photo really regret not wearing a cup that day. Soccer can definitely become full contact with the wrong move.
These players are trying to be ready for the ball when one kick is misplaced. The kick was meant for the ball, but accidents happen and the camera was able to catch both of their faces when things went south.
This photo is of reporter Kelly Nash, who is reporting sports news. What she isn’t aware of is that there is a ball flying right at her, and the camera catches the ball as it is flying toward her. She works as a sideline reporter alongside the Tampa Bay Rays, and this particular time was at the teams’ training session.
Kelly stated that there had been multiple times that her producer shouted to look out a couple of times, but none of those balls came even close to her. Thankfully, the ball that was coming at her actually went past her, and she wasn’t even aware of it until she looked back through the photos.
Dustin Brown is known for his speed and agility on the tennis court. In 2017, at the ASB Classic, a photograph was taken at the perfect time, making it look like Brown had rubber legs.
It’s kind of cringe-worthy looking at the photo and how he is able to bend. The fact that Brown can bend like that while still going for the ball is why he’s a professional. Of course, the photo makes it look worse than it actually is.
Right After Contact
There are a handful of sports where the goal of the sport is to hurt your opponent. At the very least, the goal is to stun your opponent and get them to tap out. Full-contact sports tend to lead to some very interesting photos.
This photographer managed to capture these two fighters right as one hit the other. The men are Romania's Lucian Bute and Jamaica's Glen Johnson, and they are heavyweight boxers. The impact actually twisted and distorted Bute's face like play dough.
Good Thing He Was Wearing A Helmet
When you are playing a sport, you have to trust your equipment, but sometimes it doesn't all work like it is supposed to. This baseball player took a swing at the ball, and the bat and ball connected so hard that the bat snapped into two pieces.
When the bat broke, the second piece hit him in the face, and the photographer snapped the picture at the perfect time. Hopefully, he wasn't hurt too badly.
Coming Right At You
This photo shows Italian tennis player Tathiana Garbin at the French Open in 2004. She was up against Justine Henin-Hardenne, and unfortunately, she didn't win.
However, they continued to talk about her because she saw her life flash before her eyes as she watched the ball come straight at her face. It shows that moment where you can see that you are about to get hurt, but you don't have enough time to do anything about it.
Look At That Jump
Lonnie Chisenhall is known for his serious jumping skills and this photo shows Lonnie in the middle of one of his jumps. He almost reaches the top of the wall while trying to get the ball.
He played for the Cleveland Indians in the third base position and as an outfielder. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates as well and decided to retire in 2020. His last game was in 2018 with the Cleveland Indians.
Let Me Help You Out
Basketball can be pretty physical sometimes, but not usually intentionally. These two players are trying to get the ball, and as the one player goes to grab the ball, he instead ends up sticking his finger in the guy's nose.
The photographer took the photo right at the perfect moment, and it looks like one player is trying to pick the other's nose. The things you do to win.
Taking A Breath
This photo is of Michael Phelps at the 2004 Athens Olympics. When you are watching sports, there are many things that you just miss from far away.
Phelps is known as a quick and very talented swimmer, and the photographer managed to freeze him in a unique moment. The photo shows the swimmer right as he comes up for a breath with the water still surging up around him.
That Didn't Go As Planned
Figure skaters look like they are just floating across the ice, but they are not always graceful. Most of the photos taken of figure skaters show stunning spins, leaps, and more. Once in a while, there is a photo taken that shows the less-than-graceful moves.
Figure skating can be a very dangerous sport, especially partner skating, where one throws the other or does tricks. This photo shows the moment a figure skating routine went awry as the female ended up with her face smashed on the ice. Hopefully, she ended up being ok.
Synchronized Swimming At Its Finest
In synchronized swimming, swimmers showcase artistic and difficult tricks and they look like intense fish out of water. This is a photo of Novena Dimitrijevic and Jelena Kontic during their routine.
However, the photo makes it look like the one is lifting the other out of the water by their head. She doesn't look very happy about being lifted by her head, either. Hard to tell if this was how it was supposed to be done.
Coach Takes Care Of It
Most football coaches only care about the game, and they don't have the time to deal with nonsense. The coach in this photo decided not to wait for security to deal with the rogue fan and took matters into his own hands.
He decided to body slam the fan to the ground, and it didn't look like it felt very good. The photo shows the unsuspecting fan being tackled by the coach who admitted that it probably wasn't the best way to deal with the situation.
The Gatorade Shower
It is a tradition that after a big win, the team members pour the big tub of Gatorade on the coach. In this photo, it is the University of Duke football team pouring Gatorade on their coach, David Cutcliffe.
The Gatorade bath was first introduced to sports in the 1984 NFL season. The photo was taken as the sugary drink was poured on the coach and what a perfect moment it was.
This is probably the most focused table tennis player ever seen. He is ready to pounce and is intensely focused on the ball just inches in front of his face. Not really sure why he is in the stance that he is standing in, but he looks ready.
Maybe he is trying to catch his opponent with an awkward staring contest. It's a game that is played at a rapid pace, but it's interesting to see everything slowed down for the untrained eye.
The Invisible Player
This photo was taken at the absolutely perfect moment and made it look like there is an invisible player on the field. In reality, number sixty-two's helmet came off and was in mid-air after a collision with the defensive player.
It made for a really cool photo, but sadly, it meant that the player who lost his helmet had to sit out for a play to minimize the risk of any severe trauma.
There are several times when professional basketball players go to dunk the ball and end up shattering the backboard in the process. Basketmakers have gone to great lengths to ensure even the most aggressive of dunkers can't break the glass.
The kid in this photo is actually a high school basketball player breaking the glass. The photographer was able to capture the moment that he dunked the ball and the glass shattered.
I Got It!
Soccer players tend to thrive when using their dexterous feet, and they have the ability to get creative when a ball is out of kicking range. They can't use their hands, but they can use their head.
This soccer player uses his head, and the photographer captures the exact moment the ball hits his head, making sweat fly everywhere. Headers are actually dangerous because they can result in collisions, concussions, and some embarrassing photos.
Football is definitely a game where every single inch matters and some games are won or lost by just one inch. In 2000, Super Bowl XXXIV was played between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee was down by a touchdown with just a few seconds left in the game.
Titans quarterback Steve McNair had a brilliant drive to put Tennessee in a position to tie the game. They were only ten yards away from the end zone, but Mike Jones tackled Dyson just short of the goal line. The photo shows Dyson just one yard short and, therefore, losing the game.
How Many Arms Does This Guy Have?
The photographer captured the exact moment that two soccer players moved their arms up at the same time. It looks like the man in black and yellow has four arms.
However, in reality, it's just his teammate standing behind him. That's what I call teamwork. It wouldn't really matter if the player had four arms because you can't use your arms in soccer anyway. The photo was taken at the perfect time.
Too Much Facemask
Accidents happen, and punters are players too. New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead doesn't want to give up a big play and as a result, he grabs a handful of facemask and gets his team a fifteen-yard penalty.
The penalty is much better than giving up a touchdown, but it's also bad sportsmanship to grab your opponent's facemask. The photographer was able to capture the exact moment that Morstead grabbed his opponent's facemask.
The Face Of Determination
The sport of shot put requires a massive amount of strength because they have to throw a stone sphere at great lengths. The sport has been part of the Olympics since 1896.
The hurler in this photo is putting everything he has into his throw, and the photographer was able to capture the hilarious face he had while throwing it. This guy became the talk of the town thanks to a perfectly-timed photo and a hilarious face.
The late Kobe Bryant was known for being a stone-cold assassin on the basketball court, and they called it the "Mamba Mentality." You can't learn it or acquire it; you either have it or you don't.
Kobe's mamba mentality was on full display here in this picture as he is antagonized by professional annoyer Matt Barnes. He pump-faked the ball directly at Kobe's face, but Kobe didn't react.
Let's Hug It Out
Personal space isn't really a reality in most sports, especially basketball. This is a wrestling match between Tristan Thompson and David West, and it was anything but cordial. The two men had gotten under each other's skin, and tempers flared.
They went at each other, and neither the referees nor NBA Champion Andre Iguodala were successful at breaking the two up. The photographer was able to snap a photo right when the two went at each other, and it looked as though they were giving each other a hug.
Moms are usually praised for being multitaskers with the kids, house, work, and everything else. However, in this photo, the dad is the superhero. He was in some of the best seats in the stadium and was holding his infant child.
He displayed control and balance when he held his child in one hand and caught the baseball in the other. The ball was a foul ball that was hit to the right and headed towards the lower level seats where this dad and child were sitting. Some say he was being reckless because he could've dropped his baby, but thankfully, that did not happen.
What Kind Of Tennis Move Is That?
Tennis is a hard sport, and it is very fast-moving. It is a tiny ball coming toward a person, who then has to swing and hit it back across the net. The player in the photo is Richard Gasquet, and he looks very intense and is obviously not worried about his left hand.
Not sure if he is trying to "Vogue" while playing tennis or if he's just pretending he's in the "Single Ladies" music video. Either way, someone needs to help him figure out what to do with his other hand.
Look At That Flexibility
This photo shows Anthony Elanga, a soccer player, showing off his flexibility. A photographer was able to capture the moment of Manchester United's Anthony perfectly controlling the ball while under pressure from his opponent, Timothy Castagne.
He showed off how he could be extremely flexible in mid-air with his hand on his hip in a sassy pose. In the photo, he actually looks like he's posing for a high-fashion magazine spread.
Parallel To The Water
Wakeboarding is a tough sport and can be a dangerous one as well. In this photo, Sasha Siew Hoon is seen flying through the air on her board. She was pretty much parallel to the water, making it look pretty unreal. In reality, she got some mad air on the jump, but I wonder how it felt falling back into the water.
She has gone on to win many trophies saying, "I treat every competition as important as any other, and I gave my all. I'm very happy with the results, but I have to remind myself that I need to train as hard and not slack off. I just need to keep being disciplined with my preparations and not be overly confident and also not being overly nervous as it's kinda like a sweet spot for me."