Sports Images That Captured Much More Than Expected


Tasty Ball

This rhythmic gymnast decided to use a red ball as a prop for her Olympic floor routine, which was fluid, graceful, and beautifully executed…except for what happened here in this picture. As she lands in a complicated-looking elbow stand split, she takes a look at the red ball, probably for balance. But the face she makes is absolutely unforgettable. She’s looking at the ball and if it’s the most delicious looking thing in the world, and she is about to devour it.

Folded in Half

This image is both stunning and extremely difficult to look at. This rhythmic gymnast has managed to fold her body completely in half and hold a ball in the crease of her back. We’re sure she’s put in hours and hours of training to accomplish such a feat, and that she’s very used to performing this stunt. However, a more uncomfortable looking face has never before been seen. She looks like she wants nothing more than to unfold herself and go lie down.

Eating Ice

If you live in a place that gets very cold and snowy in the winter, then you understand that nothing hurts more than slipping on ice and falling down hard on your tailbone. Unfortunately for this figure skater, she is experiencing this very situation, only she is not really dressed for the occasion. Usually you’d find yourself wearing some kind of snow pants or gear to help protect you from the frigid weather. She’s landing on her bare skin.

Tumbling Squad

Cheerleader stunts are more complex than they seem to the audience. Each stunt group has to have multiple cheerleaders with various roles in order to keep the stunt from collapsing. Unfortunately for this specific stunt group, somebody wasn’t doing their job correctly and then entire tower of girls went down.

Most Beautiful Sports Fan?

Well, this is a good one for sure! Natalya Nemchinova recently became known worldwide as one of the most beautiful sports fans at the world cup. The Russian sports supporter was later discovered to be actually quite well-known. She has not only won Miss Moscow in 2007, but she is also a known adult entertainer online. Yiikes! What a coincidence.

Invisible Ledge

As this athlete jumps, her feet have taken a perfect horizontal position, which allows the camera to take the most sensational photo. It looks like she is crouching on a flat surface, when actually she is totally in mid-air! You could imagine photoshopping in any kind of image underneath, and it looking perfect, when actually, it’s the athletes core strength which is giving her this ability. Look at her leg and arm muscles, and you’ll see how powerful she is.

Invisible ledge athlete

Neck and Neck

Hurdling is an intense sport, and these two women are clearly very evenly matched. The photographer is pretty talented, managing to get this shot from the exact angle needed to show that they’re neck and neck. The level of intense concentration on their faces shows how seriously they are taking it. We’d love to know who won this race, as it must have been a real close one! We bet the crowd were rapt, watching.

Neck and Neck Hurdle

Hold your breath

Watching sports on T.V. is one of the national favorite pass times. It’s always a fun time but sometimes it can even be funny. Especially when the athletes make really funny faces like this poor girl that got a picture taken on a really wrong moment but at the same time the perfect moment. We’re sure when she got a glimpse at this picture she probably laughed at herself as much as we did.

Dancing with the ball

We’re not really sure what is going on in this picture, is she dancing or is she playing tennis? Maybe she was trying to do both at the same time and it just did not work out as great as she thought it would. Her hand-eye coordination at this moment was clearly off. We wonder if she won the match after this. We can probably guess she at least lost that point.

Wardrobe Malfunction?

It might not be the first time you see this photo. The picture went viral after a news acnchor had an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction in the middle of the evening news. Thankfully for her, the malfunction was taken very well by the public, and some were disproportionally happy about it. Good thing it didn’t cost her her job!

Anddd Jump

This picture was taken in Utah, United States during a hurdle competition. It’s rare that this moment can be captured so well but this athlete doesn’t seem to care. Hurdling is a lot harder than it looks, as you can see in this picture her strength can be seen. To hold this position of a straight, upright stomach whilst jumping over a hurdle is far harder than this picture makes it look.

Quick Pause

This professional athlete is known specifically for track. Out of all the pictures that could have been taken, they manage to catch the moment she kneels to take a quick break. This athlete is clearly very photogenic and even when taking a break, she still manages to look amazing. This picture is evident she is exhausted- we wish we looked like this when we were so tired!


This is Brandi Chastain in 1999, one of her happiest moments, after scoring her winning goal in the 1999 World Cup. She looks ecstatic and this is the most perfectly timed picture as she had no time to think about the cameras- her immediate reaction, which was amazing, was caught straight on camera and she can treasure this memory for life.

Tiring Work

Pole Vaulting is an amazing sport to watch, and the athlete uses their strength to lift their whole body over the hurdle. This woman is an expert in her field, and can even make it look like she’s finding the whole experience a bore, as she flies through the air. Only kidding, but this photo of her expending her energy does kind of look like she’s mid yawn! Shows what the right photographer can achieve, eh?

Pole vault yawn

Indifferent Slide

This might just be the most gangster photo we’ve ever seen. As this baseball player was sliding in for a home run, she knew she was going to have to skid across the dirt. So she sat back, relaxed, and slid until she reached the plate. But the best part about it all? Her face that just says “yup, I’m doing this.”

Fed Up

Most likely this tennis playing lady was just making a gesture at her opponent, or mahbe simply just taking a breath. Unfortuantely, however, she looks like she is about to lose her mind at something. This is the defeated face of pure frustration, possibly at explaning a concept over and over again to someone who just doesn’t get it.

Decapitated Gymnast

This is a famous gymnast from Venezuela, called Katherine Coronel. She is known for her gymnastic routines, known as eurythmics. She is clearly an incredibly flexible gymnast, and with the help of a great camera and incredible timing, this photo was born! Gymnasts can practice as much as 20 hours per day, and from a young age, helping them hone their flexibility and natural ability to wow the crowds with their routines.

Headless gymnast

Amazing Acrobats

These women are probably some of the strongest you could ever meet, using their power as athletes to hold each other into the most weird and wonderful positions. Look at the women on top, who has to use her balance and core strength to stay exactly still, as well as the one in the middle who is so immensely flexible! The woman on the bottom looks like she has it easy, but she is holding up both of her fellow acrobats!


Hitting the deck

Now, we’re no long jump experts, but we’re pretty sure the aim of the game is to stretch out as much as possible – so you end up with the longest distance. Apparently, this athlete didn’t get the memo and ended up hitting the deck in quite an awkward way instead. She has stretched her arms out quite far though, so maybe she was going for the wide jump? Her face just about sums it all up really.

This long jumper didn’t quite hit the sand in the way you’d want to win any kind of competition

Swimming for Two

Synchronized swimming is amazing to watch, as you see multiple bodies move in sync through the water. In this photo, it looks like you’re seeing one extremely long woman, with her head out on one side and her legs moving behind her, showing off amazing flexibility and movement, almost like a mermaid! In reality, the photographer has taken a clever photo, showing one woman diving and another coming up again.

Synchronized swim

Please make it

The look on this gymnast’s face says everything you need to know about how she is feeling right now. Is she going to make the gym horse? Is she going to go flying over it? Or maybe she’s just really, really concentrating. Either way, the photographer managed to capture this at the perfect time – just purely for her seriously worried facial expression. We would quite like to see the photos taken after, to see if she did go flying over the top.

This gymnast has a seriously worried expression on her face as she flies through the air

The Moment of Impact

Boxing can be a brutal sport, and this photo shows Glen Johnson being hit in the face by Lucian Bute, during a middleweight title game. Glen and Lucian are both incredibly focused on their game, and you can see the strength it takes Bute to get that punch to land perfectly, and the pain on Glen Johnson’s face, too. The skin on his head is almost clenched in pain, and it looks like an almost certain knock out.

Mid punch boxing match glen johnson

A Friendly Shark

Meeting a shark under the water might be your idea of a nightmare, but that’s not what happened to this guy. He was diving with the creatures in his deep sea diving suit, and he ended up making a friend! In fact, the diver recognized her, and it looks like the feeling is mutual! “She is very laid-back so I knew if I held my hand out she would come over. She tapped my palm with her fin like we were high-five-ing.”

Shark high five

Thank God Ledge, Yosemite

If you’re scared of heights, this photo might well be your worst nightmare! It shows a rock climber, Alex Honnold who managed to complete one of the world’s hardest climbs, to a place called Thank God ledge in Yosemite National Park. We’re not sure if the ledge is called Thank God because the view makes you want to thank God for the natural beauty of the world, or because you Thank God you didn’t plummet to your death!

Thank God Ledge

Super Dad!

In this photo, you can see the exact moment that Shaun Cunningham was saved from a baseball bat by his dad! The guy in front is also trying his best to catch the bat, which was being swung by Danny Ortiz at a Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Atlanta Brave. The reaction time must have been super fast, and the dad doesn’t even look like he is fazed! What a great dad, with awesome reflexes, and we’re so glad someone managed to catch it on camera!

Dad baseball bat catch

Mirror Mirror

Wakeboarding is one of the coolest sports out there, and this guy just took it to the next level. Moving so close to the water that you can see his reflection in the crystal clear sea, on the photo it almost looks like there is another man standing next to him. The strength it takes to hold himself steady so close to the water is incredible, and the precise moment that the photo was taken is completely perfect.

Mirrored water

Basketball Soar

This photo of Dennis Rodman speaks for itself, and is definitely one worthy of being framed! This shows the expert basketball player as he reached for the ball during a 1997 game at the United Center in Illinois. As he jumped for the basketball, he managed to lift his body to be almost totally parallel with the floor, making us wonder what happened next! Did Rodman hit the floor flat, or manage to land upright?

Basketball player in flight dennis rodman

It Takes Two

When you find something you love, there’s nothing better than someone else to share it with, who has the same interests as you do. That’s exactly what happened for Matt Blank and Ian Flanders, who were base jumping partners, shown here, doing what they adored, and most people would have hated! Ian Flanders tragically died during a parachute jump in Turkey in 2015, and Matt made a poignant video to honor him with.

Life on the edge jump

Ice Skating Twirl

Here are another pair of athletes who fit together like a two piece puzzle. Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov are Russian figure skaters, and here they are shown in an almost impossible looking pose, as they move effortlessly on the ice, with Fiona being held up only by her ankle, ad Dmitry uses incredible strength to move on the ice. They must trust each other implicitly, and be totally in sync to pull off this trick.

ice skating feat

Give Me a Hand

Choreography can be a real skill, and some dancers have truly made it into an art form. This is a scene from The Origin of Thousand Hands and Scroll Holding Guan Yin. The thousand arms are clear as day, as the dancers move in perfect harmony with one another to create this breath taking effect. It looks like one woman with dozens of arms, moving in one fluid dance movement. We bet the crowd was captivated.

origin of the thousand hands

Olympic Moon

The sign for the Olympics is well known, with it’s iconic five rings interlinked with one another, each a different color. But this image is enough to give you a double take! It looks like another ring has been added underneath, changing the logo entirely. Look a little closer and you’ll see it’s actually the moon, and the photographer has taken a very clever shot, creating a beautiful photo where the natural meets the man-made. Wow!

The sixth olympic ring

Surf the Tunnel

Sometimes photographers have to get into all kinds of weird and wonderful positions to snap the perfect shot. When it comes to surfing, so many of the photos we’ve seen are from dry land, which doesn’t help us see the surfer’s perspective. The photographer here got up close and personal, giving us the opportunity to see the inside of a wave tunnel as the surfer rode it, and with a gorgeous sunset in the background, too.

tunnel surf photographer

Hockey Knockout

If you’re a Hockey fan, you might recognize the uniform of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Calgary Flames. This photo was taken at the Saddledome, in March 2015. It’s a fight between Corey Tropp and Michael Ferland, which was sure to make the crowd go nuts! The referees gave them a chance to sort it out on their own, but eventually had to step in and break it up. The atmosphere must have been wild!

Mid hockey fight

Statue Slam Dunk

This photo made me laugh, and is certainly a great photo, timed to perfection! The way that the shot was taken, it looks like that Statue in the background actually took the basketball shot, and is responsible for that slam dunk! Any second now, the statue will turn and wink in your direction, and then go back to standing immobile, just like a kid’s movie. There’s a bit of magic everywhere if you look eh?

Statue slam dunk

Broken Bat

This picture is quite possibly one of the most perfectly timed we’ve seen. It was taken at the exact moment that this batter decided to use every bit of strength in his body to hit the baseball, and the force literally split the bat in two. The best part, however, is not that he broke the bat, but that he did it with centripetal force so that the broken piece of the bat actually came back around and hit him right in the jaw.


This little boy has hair that most girls would be jealous of. While it looks like he has a typical boy’s short haircut, he has a blonde ponytail jetting out of the back of his head. Of course, this is just a perfectly timed photo where a little girl with the same color hair running behind this kid. You can tell by the tiny pink pant leg we see stick out from behind him as well. It’s pretty amazing that even the hair tie fell on the exact right spot on his head.

Out For The Count

This poor football player found himself blocking the wrong opponent, and ended up getting his lights knocked out. This cameraman managed to capture the exact moment of impact, when the tackle occurred. But because of the position of the Gators player, it looks as if he just actually punched him so hard in the face that he fell. Which would be an immediate foul in the game, so that obviously didn’t happen. But the camera says what it says.

Watch Out

Here we see Real Madrid superstar player, Cristiano Ronaldo executing some kid of crazy high kick from behind with the soccer ball. However, because of the angle of the camera, the coach behind him looks like he is one second away from a solid kick in the face. Even his facial expression matches that of someone who knows he’s about to get a forceful foot right square in the jaw. Luckily, Ronaldo is so talented, he can pull off a kick like this without anyone getting hurt.

I’ve Got It

This softball player wanted to get in some extra pitching practice outside of school, so she decided that her dog would be the perfect catcher for her to play with. Unfortunately for the dog, he was not as talented as his owner had presumed, and so his attempt to catch her pitch went a bit sour. With the camera at the ready, the photographer was able to catch the exact moment this dog understood that he was not going to catch this ball. Well, maybe with the back of his head.

Uh Oh

If this isn’t the biggest “uh oh” moment that ever happened, then we don’t know what is. This quad driver was already mid leap when he looked down only to see the worst thing someone mid-air on a quad could see: his two back wheels detaching from his vehicle and landing far away. Even though he’s wearing a full-face helmet, we are more than aware of the absolute panic he has going on, as he’s wondering just how rough this landing is going to be.

What A Cutie

These handball players were in the midst of an intense game, when one of them decided to pull an “Aunty Dorothy” move and pinch the other one’s cheek. Of course, he was most likely just going for the ball to steal it and score a goal. But the outcome was him grabbing the cheek of the other player as if to say “aww what a cute face, I could just eat you up!” We don’t think that the player receiving the cheek squeeze is very happy about it.

Speedy Skating Team

Skating is an impressive sport at the best of times, but speed skating takes it to the next level. As you can see in this photo, the players are moving so fast that they are blurred, and completely out of focus. They all need to move in time with one another, and be the perfect team despite how fast they are going. This photo was taken at the World Cup Race in Germany, back in 2015. They could be moving as fast as 60km/hour!

Speed Skaters

Muddy Puddle

Sometimes a photo can get a natural event at such a perfect moment that it makes it look unnatural. This cyclist was riding in a mountain bike race which pushes its competitors to ride 700km in 8 days. This exhausted participant rode through this muddy swamp puddle, racing to try to reach the next guy in front of him. As the mud splashes upwards, snap, the photo is captured perfectly, showing how hard his task is, if he’s in it to win it.

muddy puddle cycle race

Sky Diving

This photo would make anyone’s breath catch in their throat for a moment, and probably put a fair few people off from a career in sky diving as well! While we often see photos of that moment where the person jumps from a plane, and there are plenty of people with their parachutes as well, you don’t often get a photo with the person mid drop and hanging upside down! The formulation of the clouds, and the way he is reaching out makes it even more amazing.


Diving School

Anyone who has seen Finding Nemo knows that fish often swim in large groups, for protection from larger animals in the sea. They hope that by looking like a large animal from afar, a shark or other predators won’t come any closer to attack. Here in this photo you can see an amazing photo of exactly this phenomenon, thousands of fish swimming together in one gigantic school, all working as a powerful team.

A school of fish

Water Baby

Athletes who swim professionally are incredibly talented, and almost amphibian like in the way they move through the water. The most famous Olympic swimmer is Michael Phelps, but as you can see, there are other immensely talented athletes out there in the game! Here you can see one such swimmer, who has such a light touch on the water, it almost seems to be part of his body! A perfectly timed photo, before the water tension broke.

Swimmer tension

Wheelchair ‘boarding

Skateboarding is a tough sport, even if you’re doing it standing up! But as the para Olympics have shown, disabled people can do some incredible sporting feats, sometimes even beating those who are not disabled! Here you can see Aaron Fotheringham, an expert BMX star who is known as Wheelz, showing off his skillz and strutting his stuff on the ramps. He has titled his own sport with the name WCMX.

Wheelchair skating


There’s nothing that can get in the way of a hurdler or any athlete for that matter when they are making a winning move. This photo shows that in action, when this hurdler lost her shoe, but kept right on leaping! She looks like something of a Cinderella, we wonder whether her prince will arrive carrying a nice big trophy or medal for her, in recognition of how she beat the obstacles for ultimate success!

Cinderella Hurdler

Basketball Pirouette

All sports are a form of dance, showing that athletes have grace as well as strength. This shot, taken during an intense basketball game shows this in a spectacular way, when a basketball player is caught mid-air, in what looks like a ballet move, a perfect leap! While one second earlier or later would have missed this pose, the photographer hit the shutter at the exact moment to make some beautiful history.

Basketball Pirouette

Underwater Concentration

Sports takes intense concentration, no matter what kind! While boxing or running you can imagine needing to focus all your facial muscles in concentration, you don’t think about that when it comes to diving! But this woman clearly shows that it takes all of her muscles to make the perfect dive, and she’s captured on film under the water. Lucky that no one is scoring her facial expressions, or she probably wouldn’t do too well!
Diver frown

Back of the Net

This camera positioning was totally perfect to achieve the photo the photographer was looking for. By putting the camera at the back of the net, it allowed for a great shot of the game from behind the goalie himself. You can see him leaping to make a save, and the other players zooming past on their skates too. It’s a great example of how the right camera angle can totally make the shot, and give a photographer acclaim.

goals eye view

Defying Gravity

This basketball player soars through the air, and the photo makes it look like he is really flying. Many people who have not seen a lot of basketball, say that the players have such height, that of course they can manage the shots and moves they make. But actually, if you look at this photo, you can see that it’s little to do with their seven foot stature! They need to practice and train hard, and only some achieve these ‘heights’, no pun intended.

Davis mid jump

The Head of a Horse

This photo makes me laugh every time I see it! You’d be forgiven for wondering whether some mythical creature has appeared on the scene, with the body of a human and the head of a horse. Of course, it’s just a perfectly timed photo, when the horse turned his head at the exact right moment to get this snap. If I were the person, I’d frame this one for keeps! Although on second thoughts, it isn’t exactly flattering!

Half Horse half Human

First Kiss

Ahh, love’s first kiss, it’s always so romantic. But that’s obviously not what happened here to these poor soccer players. It seems the both of them were so into the game that they didn’t notice they were about to collide mouth-first into each other. But at least they hit the target, not many first kisses can claim that.

A Watery Surprise

Synchronized swimming is kind of like dancing, except you’re doing it in a giant pool of water. These synchronized swimmers were mid routine when this epic photo was snapped, and so they probably didn’t notice what kinds of faces they were making, as they were so focused on the next move.

Billboard Punch

This hockey player was already prepared to get a little roughed up when he signed up to play one of the most physically intense games in sports. However, he didn’t expect to be punched in the worst place by a beautiful boxer. Luckily, she was only an advertisement, but his keeled over position says otherwise.

Tennis Photography

Tennis balls can fly through the air during a game at over 120mph. Catching them mid flight in focus is difficult for any photographer. But this particular photo didn’t just catch a clear image, it caught the ball mid spin, as the water droplets from the ball flew through the air. They create an incredible effect, almost like the ball is a planet moving through the milky-way. You can simultaneously see the speed and force of the shot, and the spin the ball takes.

Wet tennis ball

Ouch, that’s gotta hurt!

This Ultimate Fighting Championship photo is one of the best perfectly timed photos we have ever seen. Just as one fighter connects his kick, the photographer snaps this… And we can see what happens to someone’s body when they get a hard shunt like this. The skin has rippled across the fighter’s back in a kind of ‘slow-mo slap’ way. We have a feeling that kick probably hurt like heck. Just look at how sweaty they are, too!

This UFC match photo shows the true impact of being kicked in the side


Rugby is basically the British version of American Football, with a lot less padding and protective gear. It can get a bit rough during a rugby match, especially when everyone bundles on top of each other to get the ball. However, this player is taking it all in his stride and poking his head out from between everyone else as if to say “Hiya!!” Either he’s a comedy genius or he just really needs to be able to breathe.

This rugby player is caught underneath a load of other players and just poking his head out

Why the long neck?

What on earth is going on in this perfectly timed sports photo?! Sure, we know it’s a wrestling match and that one guy has another in some kind of headlock… But what has happened to the man in the blue? Why is his neck so long? Is that normal? By the look on his face, we think someone might want to call an ambulance. Either that or he is the real-life Stretch Armstrong, which would be amazing.

This wrestler seems to have grown an extremely long neck during his match

Look, no hands

You’ve heard of mic drop, but how about bat drop? This New York Yankees baseball hitter is so confident in his talent that he doesn’t even need to hold the bat. Either that or he’s just knocked it out of the park and is doing a ‘bat drop’ to signify how amazing he is. We think this is a seriously cool perfectly timed sports photo – and we kind of want it as a motivational poster on our wall.

This New York Yankees baseball player doesn’t need to use his hands to hold the bat


Some perfectly timed photos are beautiful; some capture a truly special moment. Others are just plain hilarious – like this one. We can’t work out whether he’s frightened of the ball or whether he’s screaming ‘OMG’ because he’s let it go. He could, of course, have just had a manicure and is trying to wait for his nails to dry. Yeah, that seems the most likely scenario. We bet the photographer had a chuckle when they looked back through their photos and found this one.

This basketball player seems like he may be frightened of the ball

Nearly Headless Nick

This footballer loves Harry Potter so much he thought he would try and pretend to be Nearly Headless Nick on the middle of the field. Actually, this looks like whatever happened before the photo was taken really, really hurt. He’s been hit with such force that his helmet has come flying off and his head has disappeared into his back. We hope the poor guy was alright – although he probably felt a bit fragile in the morning!

This American Football player has been hit so hard he lost his helmet and nearly his head

On yer head

We are really hoping that it was raining during this game, otherwise this soccer player might want to consider getting his sweat glands looked at. We think header faces are always quite funny (after all, that’s quite a heavy ball hitting your head), but this perfectly timed photo is even better thanks to the ‘splash’ his head makes. And how much his neck has wrinkled with the force of it too! Some might say it’s a hat-trick of a photo…

This soccer player has made a real splash when heading the ball

Water Rider

This photo, and others like it went incredibly viral went it first hit the internet, due to the seemingly impossible nature of the snap! It shows surfer Robbie Maddison who is a professional stunt man, most famously on his motorbike. This shows two of his favorite past times, both motorbiking and surfing, merged into one daredevil feat. He spent two years practicing for this photo, and uses skis underneath the water to help set the scene.

motorbike on water

Catching the Wave

There’s a good reason why everyone is watching that huge wave, and it’s because there’s a man surfing it! The man is Garret McNamara who is one of the worlds top pro-surfers, and actually holds the world record for riding the largest wave. Here he is in Nazare, Portugal, and this incredible photo shows him riding strong. He is also known for being one of the only people to ride an actual tsunami, in Alaska.

The 100 foot wave


Soccer has to be one of the ultimate favorite sport around the world. Weather you call it football or soccer and weather you play it or just like to watch it it is a sport that dominates hearts around the world. This picture is absolutely incredible, mixing together soccer with a gorgeous sunset. And come on, who doesn’t love sunsets?


We all love to watch the Olympics just sitting on our couch binging on popcorn and judging the athletes. Granted everything looks much easier on T.V. but it’s still ironic. Some people even say the olympics should have a regular person compete just as a point of comparison. Of course what this man is doing is incredibly difficult but when we are watching him from the comfort of our couch we just cant help but laugh a little.

The floating helmet

They say in sports it’s important not to “lose your head” – as in, don’t lose your cool. However, this ice hockey player clearly didn’t take any of that advice to heed. Not only is he in the middle of a battle with a competitor, but he seems to have literally lost his head at the same time. Leaving his helmet suspended in mid-air like some kind of paranormal sports equipment. Seriously though, where IS his head? Answers on a postcard.

This ice hockey player seems to have lost his head and now has a floating helmet