THE CORRIDOR - The PanAms 2020

Whether a wrestler won or lost, all who competed at the 2020 PanAmerican Championships and Olympic Qualifiers in Ottawa left the competition area down a long, dark corridor. About half the length of a football field, this passageway had two sets of studio lights where portraits were taken and interviews were held. Most of the time, the competitors and coaches kept moving past the beams of light and this gave me a few seconds to capture images with dramatic shadows that I found fitting given what had just unfolded on the mats.

Photo 1 Julio Rafael RODRIGUEZ ROMERO (Dominican Republic)

Photo 2 Danielle LAPPAGE and coach Tonya VERBEEK (Canada)

Photo 3 Pool Edinson AMBROCIO GREIFO (Peru)

When the wrestlers approached the lights in the corridor, you could at times tell by their expressions if they had just won or lost. Surprisingly, you sometimes couldn’t tell what just happened as the athletes had already put their last match behind them and had begun the mental preparation for their next battle.

Photo 4 Samantha STEWART and Randy SMITH (Canada)

Photo 5 Amar DHESI and Tervel DLAGNEV (Canada)

Photo 6 David ZILBERMAN, Martine DUGRENIER, Jordan STEEN (Canada)

When the wrestlers entered the competition arena they waited under an archway, the spotlights shone brightly and, when their names were announced, they headed to the mat. In contrast, when their match was done and they were led to the start of the dark corridor, they set their own pace. Some walked painfully and slowly, whereas a few sprinted.

Photo 7 Linda MORAIS (Canada)

Photo 8 Angus ARTHUR (Jamaica)

Photo 9 Jose Daniel DIAZ ROBERTTI (Venezuela)

While the wrestlers are by themselves on the mat, they are not alone. Two coaches enter with them, are mat-side during the bout, and leave with them. A facet of the athlete / coach relationship was on display in the corridor.

The final photo is the only one in the series that is not a candid. Minutes after Agustin Destribats’ impressive win that paved his way for his Olympic appearance, I rushed to the corridor and waited for him and his coach David Ochoa. I congratulated them both and motioned for a picture. They agreed and David started to move away. Knowing that this was important for them both, I motioned to David to join Agustin and I took several photos of the two of them.

Photo 10: Erica WIEBE and Paul RAGUSA (Canada)

Photo 11: Lissette Alexandra ANTES CASTILLO and Cristhian Alberto RIVAS CASTRO (Ecuador)

Photo 12: Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (Cuba) with her coach

Photo 13: David Enrique OCHOA GARCIA (coach) and Agustin Alejandro DESTRIBATS (Argentina)

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