Tag Archives: Olympic Games

Tracy Fleischman Morgenthau

The Olympic games have officially ended and for Los Angeles photographer, Tracy Fleischman Morgenthau, it was a happy accident that work and life has her living in London for a number of months.  Tracy had a front row seat to witness the cultural impact that the games had on the city and people of London.  She has created a project titled, Olympic Culture, and these are images hot off the press.

Tracy has always been fascinated by the connection between social change and culture.  She received a degree in History from UC Berkeley, and an MA in American Studies at UT, Austin, where she worked as a fellow at the Harry Ransom Center, curating exhibitions and working with the collections.  For the past several years, in addition to working as a fine art photographer, Tracy has worked as a media and campaign strategist for leading NGO’s and documentary filmmakers creating campaigns for groups such as Women’s Voices Women Vote and the Media Consortium, and films like Trouble the Water and People Speak!

Images from Olympic Culture
I happen to be living in London during the 2012 Olympics. While
the athletes and the games themselves were amazing, I found myself drawn to the
culture surrounding the games.  On the streets, in the stands, in the
stores and even underground, excitement about the Olympic games swept through
London. 
As a foreigner living in London for a short time, I’d
already been observing local culture, noting and photographing the subtle but
significant differences between British and American culture.  With the
arrival of the 2012 games, I  found myself looking at something new – Olympic Culture.

The photographs in my series Olympic Culture explore the way the
2012 Olympic games manifested off the playing field. London attire, energy and
even the way strangers on the subway related to one another shifted with the
arrival of the Olympic games. People opened up, excited to connect and share in
a collective experience. The Olympics gave locals and visitors alike the
permission to take pride in their nations– with people from around the world
literally wrapping themselves in their national flag
(or a sponsor branded t-shirt)
.   It is this unique and
celebratory moment that I worked to capture while taking photographs in the two
weeks between the 2012 opening and closing Olympic ceremonies.




Pictures of the Week: July 27 – August 3

Blog Submission . article writing submission .

From protests in Yemen and a religious festival inNicaraguato continued fighting in Syria and the summer Olympic games in London, TIME’s photo department presents the best pictures of the week.

A Young Olympian: Diver Carolina Mendoza’s Path to London

Although she is one of the youngest athletes set to compete in this summer’s Olympic games, 15-year-old Carolina Mendoza displays a maturity beyond her years through her training. In early June, TIME commissioned photographer Tomas Munita to photograph Mendoza as she prepared to represent Mexico in the 10-m platform dive in London—one of the only remaining Olympic sports permitting teenage competitors as young as 14.

(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog)

Munita, who photographed Mendoza at the National High-Performance Center (CNAR) in Mexico City, was drawn to his subject’s balanced approach to her training. At an age where many kids face distractions from friends, family and school, Mendoza has found a rare balance in the frenzy of her life.

“Her happiness and professionalism completely explains her success,” he said. “She is not just tough practicing over and over again, but she also loves what she does as a challenge and a game—not just as pure competition.”

Mendoza seems perfectly suited for the rigors of the Olympics. Learning to walk at 9 months old and swimming by age 2, she was encouraged athletically by her parents: her mother, a Mexican national track-and-field champion and her father, an Olympic cyclist competing at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

At age 11, Mendoza discovered that her experience in both swimming and gymnastics found harmony in diving. And now, four years later, she is packing for the London Games.

Munita watched in awe as Mendoza dove again and again during practice.  “She works every detail systematically and patiently. In between each dive, she finds time to joke and laugh loudly with her partners,” he said. “Then, suddenly, she’s running up the ladders again.”

Read more about Carolina Mendoza on TIME.com.

Tomas Munita is a freelance photographer based in Santiago, Chile. He previously photographed Church and State: The Role of Religion in Cuba for TIME.


The World in London

This summer, the world descends on London for the Olympic Games.  A photo project commissioned by the Photographer’s Gallery, however, shows us that the world is already there.  “The World in London” is a collection of 204 portraits of 204 Londoners, each of whom hail from one of the 204 countries competing in this year’s Games. Since each portrait was carried out by a different photographer, the style of the work is as diverse as its subjects: formal studio portraits, Skype screengrabs, and casual snapshots, by established artists and emerging talents, all make their way into the collection.  The resulting work is a portrait of both human and artistic diversity, showcasing one of the world’s most international cities through the lenses of some of its most creative photographers.  See photographs by Martin Parr, Stephen Shore, Rinko Kawauchi, Penelope Umbrico and 200 others at The World in London.

For a Female Boxer from Afghanistan, An Olympic Journey Ends

Nobody expected Sadaf Rahimi, the female boxer originally selected to represent Afghanistan at the Olympic Games this week, to do well in the ring. The mere fact that she would be representing her country was triumph enough. To get to the selection stage, she had to fend off social opprobrium, religious condemnation and even the disapproval of some of her own coaches who believed that women’s boxing shouldn’t go any further than the hobby stage. Rahimi won every one of those battles. Her path to London was but the latest leg of an extraordinary journey for Afghanistan’s women, who, little more than a decade ago, were forced to stay at home, denied the right to obtain an education, to work — and to play sports. She might have won over her countrymen, but in the end, she couldn’t make it past the International Boxing Association (AIBA), who decided on July 18 that she could not compete, citing concerns that boxing against opponents of much higher standards might threaten her safety in the ring. Not only is this a disappointment for Rahimi, her family and the aspirations of female Afghan athletes, it strikes a blow to the International Olympic Committee’s goal to have female athletes represent every country, just a week after Saudi Arabia, the last holdout, reluctantly agreed to send two female athletes.

(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog)

Rahimi had been preparing for the Olympics since February, when she was first notified that she would receive what is known as a wild-card invitation — a special berth granted to nations that would not otherwise be able to qualify an appropriately skilled athlete. Later that month she traveled to the U.K. to train in a special AIBA boxing camp, where she had her first taste of Olympic-caliber boxing. At first, she told TIME, she was getting knocked down “two to three times a day.” But by the end of the two-week program, she was starting to hold her own in the ring. Still, she was sanguine about her chances in London. “I am sure I will be punched like a bag. Like I am a pillow being pummeled,” she told TIME in April. “Whether I win a medal or not, I will be a symbol of courage as soon as I step into the ring.”

(Related: How to Compete in the Olympics While Fasting for Ramadan)

It is unclear why the AIBA waited until just over a week before the Olympics to revoke Rahimi’s invitation. In May, when Rahimi attended the women’s world boxing championships in China, her fight was stopped short, after a minute and 20 seconds, because she was doing so poorly. Her coach, as well as the Afghan National Olympic Committee, felt that her performance in China was an aberration, saying she had performed well in other international competitions. Rahimi, say close friends in Kabul, is disappointed. But she is looking forward to competing in other international events and still holds out hope that with a few more years to train, her chances in Rio 2016 will be even better. And back at home, in the ramshackle studio Rahimi shares with Afghanistan’s other boxers, she has already started winning some converts to her side. As the women’s club trickled out of the gym to make way for the men’s boxing team a few months ago, I stopped to ask one of the men’s coaches what he thought about the idea of women boxing. “At the beginning it was strange,” admitted Sayed Haroon. “Everything new is strange at first, but you can get used to anything if you see it enough times.” Rahimi may not be boxing in London this year, but she will continue the fight back home in Afghanistan.

To read more about Rahimi, read Baker’s piece here

Aryn Baker is TIME’s Middle East bureau chief based in Kabul.

Andrea Bruce is a photographer based in Afghanistan. She was previously featured on LightBox after winning the Chris Hondros Award.