Our photographers’ favorite Olympic images


Over the past few weeks, a team of New York Times photographers have sought to capture all aspects of the Tokyo Olympics.

Doug mills

I was leaving the morning swim events and getting excited and walking along the pool deck. I was looking at the other end of the complex and saw the springboard divers warming up, and I saw an angle that we can’t shoot during the competition and it caught my eye. I pulled out my 600mm lens and started taking pictures, and I was excited to capture that moment.

Chang W. Lee

Japan’s Misugu Okamoto was the favorite to win the gold medal in the women’s skateboarding in the park. She fell on all three runs and finished in fourth place. After her third fall, she collapsed on the floor in tears. She was devastated. Her competitors are also her friends, and when they saw her fall, they lifted her onto their shoulders and cheered her on.

James hill

David Tshama Mwenekabwe, a middleweight boxer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, walks to the ring to play his very first Olympic fight. His name has just been announced to the non-existent crowd and as he walks into the arena he also seems focused and lost in thought. The sweat rests on his muscular body after a warm-up. His gloves are raised as if they were ready for battle. The weight of the wait is palpable, and three rounds of three minutes or less will decide its fate. I chose this image as my favorite because of this visible emotional charge and the intensity of the colors that seem to echo it.

Hiroko masuike

It was difficult to illustrate the Olympic Games which were not celebrated locally. This photo was taken from an observatory of a commercial building in Shibuya, which is a popular place among young people. I wanted to create a moody photograph to illustrate very different Olympics, staged during the pandemic. I stayed there for a while and walked until I saw visitors reflecting off protective glass, which produced this unusual image.

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