Now that I am with Special Olympics Southern California, I had the opportunity to work my first Summer Games. It is one of more than 200 events a year but it is the biggest. If you ask any of the athletes, it is the one they look forward to. It is the championships. It is their final four. It is their super bowl. It is their moment. And it showed. I had many duties, but I had the chance to sneak away with the cameras a couple times.
Day one featured a festival, free health screenings, a behind scenes look at volunteers from Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions making 8,000 lunches, and the most memorable dunk “contest” ever.
Day two was on the track and at the pool. I snuck by the awards podium at the swim venue. If you have a chance, I encourage everyone out there to go to your state’s summer games and watch the medal ceremonies. You will shed a tear. And then there was the show stopper. The young athletes exhibition on the track. A pair of young ones stole the show.
Enjoy what I saw behind the lens (galleries linked by the day above).
2017 Special Olympics Southern California Summer Games Day Two June 11, 2017 Swimming
After 17 years at Loyola Marymount, I began an new adventure with Special Olympics Southern California. Two weeks into my new role, I had the opportunity to shoot my first event. The Spring Regional Games in Santa Clarita Valley. It was followed by the Spring Regionals in Pomona and then the San Diego Regional Games.I am not sure words can properly express what I got to see. The spirit. The joy. The determination. A nine-year old stole my heart. A volunteer was a show-stopper. A bocce athlete was just happy to play. A father-daughter combo brought tears to the eyes.Every one had stories of love, perseverance, determination, inclusion and so much more. The imagery was amazingly overwhelming. The people – no words can explain.
Special Olympic Southern California 2017 San Diego County Spring Region Carlsbad High School May 27, 2107 bocce celebration
This spring, I had the opportunity to view through the lens my god-daughter takeoff. After spending her first year of swimming and water polo dealing with aches and pains caused by a massive growth spurt, she was finally healthy (thank you Shaun) for year two. And she thrived. This little peanut became a competitor before my eyes. As someone who has spent their life in sports and has witnessed its amazing beauty, getting to view someone you helped raise find their own way, well, that is pure joy. Take a look at what I got to see in the gallery A COMPETITIVE PEANUT.
Culver City High School Swimming vs. Torrance North The Plunge Mar. 8, 2017
My 17th college basketball season began this November at LMU. Yes, 17. Where did it go. And it started with same energy, the same optimism that any new season brings. It also brought with it the start of an 18-game home schedule. Oh boy, is this one gone be a long one. It started with a trip to Nevada, as I got to sneak out and see the super moon (very cool) and then home for a match-up rarely season at Gersten Pavilion – national power UConn in town. And it was a classic. Check out the start of basketball season HERE.
Mattias Markusson LMU men’s basketball vs. UCONN on Nov. 17, 2016
Nothing like a cloudless Southern California day in the mid 70s with the breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean. And nothing like spending it at the park. In this case, the ball park. It was Senior Day for LMU baseball at Page Stadium and it was a family affair. From parents honoring their graduating sons, to families bringing their kids – including those with four legs. The Page Stadium red-tailed hawk drew quite the crowd. Oh, there was quite the baseball game too (it went extra innings). Check out the images in the latest PHOTO GALLERY.
A mid-week non-conference match-up between LMU and UC Riverside from Page Stadium. Junior Austin Miller belted his second home run of the year in the bottom of the eighth inning, launching a two-run shot out to right field to catapult LMU (14-15) past UC Riverside (12-15) by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday night from LMU’s Page Stadium. Check-out the PHOTO GALLERY.
There is something about the home opener in the sport of baseball, especially under the lights. The sunsets, the grass cut to perfection, the crisp lines and the hope of a new year. LMU’s home opener came against USC. I couldn’t work with a better staff, as they – in the middle of the stretch run in basketball – found a way to put together programming that brought in the largest crowd at Page Stadium in program history. From the first pitch by the new president, to a perfect Southern California sunset, it was a night that had many talking days after. I am proud to be a Lion! Take a look.
Photos from the 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships San Diego Regional between Kansas and LMU. Game was played at Jenny Craig Pavilion on the campus of the University of San Diego. Check out the entire PHOTO GALLERY.
The 2015 LMU women’s soccer season had its best season in program history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. They defeated Cal and Minnesota (both 1-0) in the first two rounds respectively. The Lions finished 15-6-1 overall and 7-2-0 in WCC play, setting program records for overall wins and league wins along the way. CLICK HERE for select shots from their home games during their Sweet 16 run.
LMU women’s volleyball knocked off Colorado State and then stunned sixth-ranked Stanford on their home floor to advance to their second NCAA Sweet 16 in program history. It was the program’s 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They finished the season winning 15 of their last 18 games, wrapping up the year 24-9 overall and 13-5 in the WCC. Check out the PHOTO GALLERY from select home games during their run to the Sweet 16.