Forgotten Victories

Andrey Lomakin

Published on 25/03/15

© Andrey Lomakin

I’ve had my first frac­ture in early 90’s par­ti­cip­at­ing in a mixed mar­tial arts tour­na­ment. My oppon­ent was a great boxer and after 10 minutes I was down with broken nose. Although I lost, I was proud of my injury and the exper­i­ence gained in a fair fight. It didn’t take long for the second frac­ture fol­lowed by a sur­gery. After recov­ery I have decided to stay away from pro­fes­sional sports.

Ten years later I was work­ing as a pho­to­grapher in a sports magazine. Dis­cuss­ing the selec­tion of shots from yet another cham­pi­on­ship with the editor, I sug­ges­ted to put only two images: a set of awards and an ath­lete twis­ted in pain who got a ser­i­ous injury instead of gold medal. I was refer­ring to Cups as empty cans and to medals as a piece of metal junk.
Why should one mangle him­self or any­one else for this use­less stuff?
The editor – former pro­fes­sional wrest­ler who had a num­ber of pres­ti­gi­ous awards – could not let my com­ment slide. His face went red, his fists clenched. I thought he was going to beat me up. But he was a wise and a kind man. I wasn’t even fired and in time was for­given for my indis­cre­tion. A year later the magazine was closed.

Almost 12 pounds of films from those days with thou­sands of faces, hun­dreds of com­pet­i­tions and train­ing ses­sions have become cramped, scratched, dusty neg­at­ives in my closet. Count­less images of win­ners and losers, starters and stars: their value was always doubt­ful to me, as well as the value of sport­ing achieve­ments.
Career of a sports­man lasts 5–15 years, after that you’re a dusty scratchy neg­at­ive in a use­less archive. Col­lages from this pro­ject are my attempt to give a second chance to both of them.

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