Good Sport

Tears, Joy, Feeling Weak, Sleep, Tired, Travel, Travel, Training, Waiting. The German Climbing Team.

Photography & words by Christopher Smolkovic

Sports climbing will make its debut at the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021. The relatively young sport evolved from the adventures of people who enjoy outdoor climbing to a rather sophisticated, high-performance athletic activity. Not to mention a fast-growing number of recreational climbers worldwide.



Besides my photographic journey, I work for the German climbing team. First, I started to take photos to document travels to exciting places all over the world. This expanded beyond the literal approach. I began taking my camera with me into more unseen situations such as daily training or preparation camps.

This industry of sports photography primarily documents the events and "the action" itself. As I am busy with taking care of the athletes behind the curtain, my approach is to find them in between situations: the preparation and celebration, the calmness and even boredom that descends on to the athletes, when they have to go through yet another repetition - waiting again to board a plane, waiting again behind the wall to compete, waiting again for a medal to their career.




To be a professional athlete is demanding; only a thin line divides success and failure.  As the athlete's journey continues, I am hoping to capture the moments of perseverance, defeat and celebration.