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Daily Picture Show

Faces Of Wounded Warriors

During the preliminary swim competition at the Warrior Games for injured service members, I put my camera down — a poor decision for a photographer. But I stopped to completely take in the scene unfolding in the pool below.

From a bird's-eye view on the catwalk over the pool at the Olympic Training Center, I could see that all of the swimmers had finished the race, except for one lone participant struggling in the middle of the pool. His pace slowed, his legs no longer kicked vigorously and he worked to keep his head above the water. As he reached out toward the lane divider, I lowered my camera, wondering if anyone was going to help him. A moment passed, he caught his breath, the crowd cheered louder and he started to swim again. And I picked up my camera.

My personal goal became to capture individual athletes during practice and competition, wanting to give a broad perspective of injuries and personalities. With only 200 soldiers participating in the Warrior Games, I started to see the same faces over and over again, reminding me that individual stories don't matter as much at an event like this. At every moment I was surrounded by people with compelling stories doing extraordinary things — even if that extraordinary thing was just reaching the other end of the pool.

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