Track City, USA Eugene Oregon

July 2, 2012
Bruce Berg

Many years ago, I actually photographed some sports for various magazines.  Gymnastics, Track & Field, among others.

No, never made it to Sports Illustrated or National Geographic, though my work was published several times by Travel-Holiday magazine and World Book Encyclopedia.  I took images like this (taken at the Oceanside Pier near San Diego).

But how I got started in portraits…is when I realized that my destiny was not to be had as a photographer for the premiere magazines.  And that, yes, I really enjoyed the personal contact and art that I can create with “normal” everyday people.

Ashton Eaton, from Mountain View HS in Bend, and U of O alum is not a “normal” everyday people anymore.  He just set the world record in the decathlon during the Olympic Trials held at venerable Hayward field, breaking an 11 year old record.  He is now, at age 24, considered the world’s greatest athlete.  It was phenomenal to watch and he’ll probably only get better.

About 5 years ago I met him when he almost rented the one rental we owned with his roommates, but it was a bit too far from campus.  Nice guy-bright future on that Wheaties Box and all the money he will make after London, but what about all those other competitors who trained for 4 years only to fall short.  What is their story?

I suspect they are much like us.  99.99% of us toil in relative obscurity.  Trying to do the right thing.  Loving our family and dealing with our joys, our troubles, our worries, our pleasures, our interests, our sin, our hopes, our disappointments, our L I F E.

We won’t make it on a Wheaties box.  But hopefully, we will make it on someone’s heart.

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