Blood. Sweat. Tears. The sacrifices you have to make to be the best, to win, are never ending. If you want to win you have to eat like a winner, sleep like a winner, breath like a winner. Wrestling is the pinnacle of athletics… nothing comes easy. I tried to capture just that, the work, the triumph, the glory and everything in between.
In my concentration I focused on the grit and perseverance it takes to wrestle and be an elite athlete. In images 1 and 8, I really focused on catching the action at normal matches, that we think of when we think of the sport, but I knew I wanted to do more than that. In image 6, I took portraits of a friend on the wrestling team, playing with the flash and lighting in the studio until I was able to stage the intense moment I had captured in image 3. The raw state of athleticism in which wrestling occurs is nearly unparalleled and the extreme sacrifices these kids have to make, like losing and spitting out a tooth in image 4 and busting lips like in image 7, are nearly unimaginable. All of this work has to culminate to something, something so phenomenal that it all becomes worth it. Every moment of pain and suffering subsides when in the national championship match between the wrestlers ranked #1 and #2 in the nation, the underdog comes out victorious and the crowd goes wild like I photographed in images 10 and 11. Nothing tops that cloud nine feeling, it’s something so divine that so very few have ever had the discipline to experience… that’s the wrestling story I wanted to portray.