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European Athletics: U23 Championships in Gävle

A steward is talking to the athletes who are standing at the starting line before the start of the competition. In the background a cameraman is filming the event.
Behind the sceenes of one of the competitions at the U23 Championships in Gävle.

During the last week I had the privilege to attend the European Athletics U23 Championships in Gävle, Sweden. I worked in the media department with the photo crew and got the chance to follow the whole arrangement from close range.

I've worked with different sport events before, like the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and the womens first league (Damallsvenskan) in Sweden, and liked it very much. But this time I was able to see how an event of this magnitude is prepared and administered, how much preparation is required and how interesting it is to meet people from 150 different countries.

Women athletes are walking in the sunshine on their way to their competition. The athletes comes from Finland, Germany, Italy and Sweden.
Women athletes are walking from Gavlehov to the arena before the competitions.

I had the good fortune to meet many international colleagues who works as photographers around Europe, sometimes even around the whole world. And now they were all gathered in Gävle, a relatively small city in northern Sweden. Despite being small, the city has a rich history of sports. Most known is probably the ice hockey team Brynäs IF, that has won the Swedish first league title 12 times and also been playing in the Champions Hockey League. Another club from the city is the oldest one in Sweden, Gefle IF, who also co-hosted this event along with the city of Gävle. So yes, I'd say this city really loves sports and was surely ready for hosting these competitions.

I got the chance to work with both administrative tasks, like handle photo accreditations and permits, and actually get to be on the field to photograph and meet athletes from all of Europe.

As a photographer it was really exciting to be this close to the action! And a lot of things to be aware of and to watch out for. It's not ideal to get hit by a flying jawelin, for example. But everything went well, in fact, the whole event (as far as I know) went very well and we managed to keep track of time (haha) and to avoid any accidents. We were also lucky with the weather. I know that some of the athletes were a bit chocked by the much cooler air up here in the North, but in general (with the exception of some light showers) the weather was fine. A lot of sun, but not too hot, is a good way to sum it up, I think.

I'm also pleased with my work and the result of my quest for interesting images. You can see more of my work here.

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