After another four long years, the summer Olympic Games are once again (almost) upon us. The Olympics is an international sporting event that excites and draws people from all over the world. Over 200 nations participate with thousands of athletes competing. Soon, these top athletes from around the globe will meet in London to compete for the gold—but for now, these future Olympians are in hyper-training mode. And, just as millions of others find themselves every four years, Carlsbad, CA-based sports photographer Jay Reilly is excited. Not just for the games but because many of these Olympic athletes train at Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, right next to San Diego.
Jay is attracted to just about everything having to do with the Olympics—” the people, the action, the location, the sports.” He’s inspired by the sheer dedication and commitment of Olympic athletes, and of course, has used that inspiration to create photographs. Lately, he’s been busy documenting members of Team USA as they train for a variety of Olympic events—sometimes of his own accord, sometimes on editorial assignment.
According to Jay, photographing these Olympians isn’t all fun and games. He says,
These athletes travel a lot so not only are the editorial deadlines tricky, but working around their availability is a challenge. Many times I also have to work around training sessions. They take their training time very seriously, so I might only have five minutes to get the image.
Even with their tight schedules, Jay has been able to capture some striking imagery of these top athletes—especially when it comes to the water related sports,
Visually, it’s been fun shooting kayaking and rowing because the water setting is so dramatic. These sports provide a wonderful contracts between athletic strength, technology and natural elements.
Jay plans to continue creating images of Olympic athletes until it’s time for them to ship out. But be sure, he’ll be back again in another four years.