International Para Table Tennis - Costa Rica
It turned out to be an absolute blessing to experience being a minority in this group of people with different handicaps. What stood out for us the most is that despite their disabilities, the atmosphere was full of joy, passion, determination and friendship. In a matter of seconds, we found ourselves overwhelmed with respect, perhaps even adoration, towards these people and their will to achieve and win.
Working on personal projects can be, and many times is, accompanied by making new friends. That is our interpretation of Alpha and what he represented in our minds. He also showed us what an authentic gratefulness is. He used to thank his fans by bowing down at the end of every match.
Noel seemed very shy at first, but once we sat down with him and encouraged him to express his feelings, he opened up and showed us real determination and what it meant for him to be able to play.
One could read a lot of information about Muhammad from this sole picture. His clothes match his equipment. The contrasting colors complement his determined position. His eyes look straight ahead waiting for the last service of the match. The meaning of this picture could be also read differently. Muhammad representing Canada as a symbol of diversity in sports.
The picture of Claudio was shot in the last remaining hours of the tournament. We approached him to get his portrait taken during a break before the last set. He did not even notice that there was this kind of opportunity, even though the setup was in the same hall. It might had been because of his high level of concentration - most of the time he was practicing with his teammates, completely drawn into the game with his body and soul.
Erich and Victor, Venezuela
Erich and Victor were like brothers. Each time they scored, everyone in the venue knew instantly. Their strong voices bounced off the walls like a lion roar.
Kristian, Czech Republic
We decided to take portraits of handicapped players of table tennis at an international tournament in Costa Rica. That was possible thanks to Viktor’s younger brother, Kristian, as he has been playing in the Czech national team for the past 2 years. When all was set up, we happened to face a sudden realization – our knowledge of para sports was fairly limited, and that included the handicapped people and their attitude to playing sports. We went there to soak up the atmosphere, meet the people and take the portraits, not really knowing what to expect.