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the Big Picture

Category: sports

October 9, 2014 Permalink

We've moved!

Six years and 966 entries after this blog launched, it's time for some updates. We've got a new design. The pictures are bigger and you can enjoy them on your phones and tablets.

Check us out at our new home on BostonGlobe.com But, don't worry! All our old entries will remain archived here on Boston.com. If you have any feedback on the changes, please let us know.

— The Big Picture team:

Bill Greene, Director of Photography
Thea Breite, Senior Multimedia Editor
Leanne Burden Seidel, Picture Editor
Lloyd Young, Photo Editor
Joel Abrams, Product Manager


September 24, 2014 Permalink

Asian Games 2014

The games are well underway in Incheon, South Korea, with athletes from 45 nations competing in more events and sports -- such as kabaddi, wushu, and sepak takraw -- than at the Summer Olympics. The event wraps up with closing ceremonies on Oct. 4. --Lloyd Young (25 photos total)

Japan's Masanori Hayashi (left) strikes the ball against South Korea's Im An-Soo in the men's team sepak takraw preliminary match during the 2014 Asian Games at Bucheon Gymnasium in Bucheon, east of Incheon, on Sept. 24. (Jung Yron-Je/AFP/Getty Images)
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August 20, 2014 Permalink

2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games

Young athletes from around the globe are competing in more than two dozen events in Nanjing, China. The event created by the International Olympic Committee includes traditional opening and closing ceremonies that wrap up on Aug. 28. Many of these same competitors will be vying for spots to represent their countries in Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympics. --Lloyd Young (25 photos total)

Chun Yin Ryan Choi of Hong Kong (right) and Andrzej Rzadkowski of Poland compete in the Men's Foil Individual Gold Medal Bout on day three of the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games at Nanjing International Expo Center on Aug. 19, in Nanjing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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July 16, 2014 Permalink

Tour de France 101st edition

It’s been a race of survival in this year's tour at the halfway point. Two of the race favorites; Christopher Froome, last year's winner, and former winner Alberto Contador have both crashed out. Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the yellow jersey, is the overall leader through 11 stages of the race that now heads towards the high mountains and concludes in Paris on July 27. --Lloyd Young (38 photos total)

Giant Shimano procycling team rider Marcel Kittel of Germany celebrates after winning the 1st stage of the 101st edition of the 2014 Tour de France cycling race between Leeds and Harrogate, Britain, July 5. (Nicolas Bouvy/EPA)
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July 9, 2014 Permalink

World Cup final is set

It will be Germany and Argentina in the World Cup final this Sunday at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Argentina beat the Netherlands today during penalty kicks after extra time, and Germany dispatched Brazil yesterday during a 7-1 rout that shocked the host country. --Lloyd Young (30 photos total)

Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez celebrates with Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the last penalty during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on July 9. Argentina reached the World Cup final on Wednesday after beating the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout. (Hassan Ammar/Associated Press)
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July 7, 2014 Permalink

Spanish horses in festival and sport

Spain has a long-standing historical and cultural relationship to horses. They use them for sport and in a variety of festivals. During the summer there are several festivals in which the role of the horse is essential. --Thea Breite (19 photos total)

Wild horses are gathered during the "Rapa Das Bestas," (Shearing of the Beasts,) a 400-year-old horse festival in the Spanish northwestern village of Sabucedo July 5, 2014. On the first weekend of the month of July, hundreds of wild horses are rounded up, trimmed and groomed in different villages in the Spanish northwestern region of Galicia. (Miguel Vidal/Reuters)
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June 25, 2014 Permalink

World Cup goals

They bring joy and sorrow to players, coaches, and entire nations. They can come from a graceful header off a corner kick or a hard bending strike from the pitch. Here is some action and reaction on the more than 120 goals scored during the World Cup competition in Brazil so far. --Lloyd Young (34 photos total)

Greece's Orestis Karnezis watches as the ball goes into the net in a goal scored by Colombia's Pablo Armero (unseen) during their 2014 World Cup Group C soccer match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte on June 14. (Paulo Whitaker/Reuters)

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June 13, 2014 Permalink

FIFA World Cup 2014 starts in Brazil

The World Cup started in Brazil this week among celebration and protests. The host nation won the game opener in front of 62,100 fans at Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, and masses watched in various positions around the country and world. -Some in protest that a huge amount of funds are directed to this prominent event.--Leanne Burden Seidel (27 photos total)

A boy runs in a decorated street in Fortaleza, Brazil , June 12. The FIFA World Cup 2014 is taking place in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. (JARBAS OLIVEIRA/EPA)
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June 9, 2014 Permalink

2014 World Cup: Goalposts around the world

All you need is a ball and something to kick it in. Around the world, goalposts are made from metal, wood, plastic, sticks, tape, or paint on a wall. Reuters photographers captured images of goalposts on every continent as the world gets ready to watch the 2014 Brazil World Cup, which opens on June 12. --Thea Breite (20 photos total)

Kathmandu, Nepal. May 31, 2014. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)
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April 21, 2014 Permalink

The Boston Marathon, 2014

An American runner, Meb Keflezighi, won The Boston Marathon for the first time since 1983. A year after the bombs exploded near the finish line killing three people and injuring hundreds of others, runners reclaimed the race. A record crowd of one million people, twice the usual number, watched and cheered the runners on. Rita Jeptoo of Kenya defended her title in the women’s race. --Thea Breite (29 photos total)

The scene at the Hopkinton start of the 118th Boston Marathon, Monday, April 21, 2014. (Bill Greene//The Boston Globe)
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April 11, 2014 Permalink

Scenes from the 2014 Masters Golf Tournament

The 78th Masters Tournament started on April 10 among the colorful flora of the Augusta National Golf Club. The well-kept grounds of the course make a great backdrop for photographing the sport, and the good weather helps with interesting shadows and warm sunlight. --Leanne Burden Seidel (31 photos total)

Stewart Cink of the United States hits his second shot on the second hole during the first round of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10 in Augusta, Georgia. (Harry How/Getty Images)
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March 12, 2014 Permalink

Sochi 2014 Paralympics

Competitors are midway through the Paralympic games being held in Sochi, Russia, this week -- with closing ceremonies this Sunday. More than 40 countries sent athletes to compete in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey, and wheelchair curling. --Lloyd Young (34 photos total)

Japan's Takeshi Suzuki competes to bronze during Men's Downhill Sitting at XI Paralympic Olympic games in the Rosa Khutor stadium close to Sochi on March 8. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)
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March 11, 2014 Permalink

2014 Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race

Dallas Seavey won the Iditarod Trail Dog Race in a dramatic finish today, rallying from third place. A storm knocked out the front-runner and Seavey finished in a record-breaking pace. The race was riddled with harsh conditions due to lack of snow leading to many injuries. Dogs and mushers brave about 1000 miles of challenging Alaskan terrain and we are lucky that a few photographers have given us a glimpse of this amazing long trek. --Leanne Burden Seidel (42 photos total)

Dogs on Mike Santos' team leave the chute during the ceremonial start to the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, March 1. (Nathaniel Wilder/Reuters)
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February 13, 2014 Permalink

Sochi 2014 Olympics: Reaching the podium

A week into the Winter Olympic games in Sochi, some three dozen gold medals have been awarded. Here are some of the winners whose performances duing competition earned them a moment on the podium. --Lloyd Young (55 photos total)

Silver medalist Japan's Akito Watabe, gold medalist Germany's Eric Frenzel (center) and bronze medalist Norway's Magnus Krog celebrate on the podium during the Nordic Combined Individual NH / 10 km Flower Ceremony at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center during the Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb. 12 in Rosa Khutor near Sochi. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)
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February 7, 2014 Permalink

2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi

The Opening Ceremony kicked off the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia today. The torch was lit after a dazzling display of performance and fireworks. --Leanne Burden Seidel (28 photos total)

Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7 in Sochi, Russia. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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November 15, 2013 Permalink

Winter Olympics 2014: Carrying the flame

Earlier last month in Greece, the Olympic flame began its ceremonial journey to the site of the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The flame is being carried across all 83 regions of Russia via relay by torchbearers. The flame has already visited the North Pole and International Space Station as it travels to the opening ceremonies on Feb. 7. -- Lloyd Young ( 31 photos )

Actress Ino Menegaki as high priestess, left, gives an olive branch to the first torch runner Greek champion skier Giannis Antoniou during the ceremony for lighting of the Olympic flame in Ancient Olympia, west southern Greece on Sept. 29. Using the sun's rays at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, organizers carried out a successful ceremony to light the flame for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Feb. 7-23, 2014 in Russia. (Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press)
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October 16, 2013 Permalink

Triathlons

If you can swim, bike, and run, then you can compete in a triathlon. This past weekend the Ironman World Championship event was held in Kona, Hawaii, where the sport's top athletes had to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full marathon in less that 17 hours. It was the 35th anniversary for the event, which started when a group of athletes wanted to determine who was the fittest in the three disciplines. Triathlons are now held all over the world at various distances, and today's post looks at a few of them since the start of the year. -- Lloyd Young ( 34 photos )

Amateur triathletes start the 2.4 mile swim portion during the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 12. (Hugh Gentry/Reuters)
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July 29, 2013 Permalink

FINA World Aquatics Championships

The 15th FINA World Championships are taking place in Barcelona this year, and the photography is a feast for the eyes. FINA is the Swiss-based international swimming organization that holds the championships for aquatic sports every two years. The sporting event that includes swimming,diving, open water swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo, ends on Aug. 4.-Leanne Burden Seidel (24 photos total)

Russia warms up ahead of the Synchronized Swimming Free Combination Final on day eight of the 15th FINA World Championships at Palau Sant Jordi on July 27 in Barcelona, Spain.( Al Bello/Getty Images)
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July 22, 2013 Permalink

Tour de France 100th edition: Part two

The historic 100th edition of the Tour de France came to a conclusion yesterday on the tree-lined Champs-Elysees in Paris with Christopher Froome of Great Britain retaining the overall lead to win his first yellow jersey. The second half of the race, heavy on climbing, with five mountain stages, took the riders to the top of Mont Ventoux and on two ascents of the legendary Alpe d'Huez. The final stage ended as the first, with German sprinter Marcel Kittel in front. -- Lloyd Young ( 35 photos total)

Christopher Froome of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, toasts with Sky Procycling team manager David Brailsford of Britain, rear left, during the 21st and last stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France cycling race over 133.5 kilometers (83.4 miles) with start in Versailles and finish in Paris, France, on July 21. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press)
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July 8, 2013 Permalink

Tour de France 100th edition: Part one

Cyclists have completed 9 of 21 stages and have already climbed through mountain passes of the Pyrenees during this years historic 100th race covering 2,115 miles around France. Five different riders have held the lead in the first week, and now Christopher Froome of Great Britain, one of the pre-race favorites, wears the leader's yellow jersey as the race heads to northwestern France to begin its second week. The race, first organized in 1903 by the French newspaper L'Auto to boost circulation, will finish in Paris on July 21. -- Lloyd Young ( 41 photos total)

Germany's Marcel Kittel celebrates as he crosses the finish line at the end of the 213 km first stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France cycling race on June 29v between Porto-Vecchio and Bastia, on the French Mediterranean Island of Corsica. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)
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February 15, 2013 Permalink

2013 World Press Photo Contest Winners

For over 55 years, the World Press Photo contest has encouraged the highest standards in photojournalism. The contest is judged by leading experts in visual journalism who represent various aspects of the profession and the composition of the jury is changed from year to year. The prize-winning images are assembled into an exhibition that travels to 45 countries over the course of a year and over two million people go to a hundred different venues to see the images. The winners themselves uphold the foundation's simple mission statement: We exist to inspire understanding of the world through quality photojournalism. A sampling of the winning images follows. You can browse more amazing content on World Press Photo. -- Paula Nelson (NOTE: There will be no post on Monday in observance of the holiday.) ( 18 photos total)

World Press Photo of the Year 2012 - Paul Hansen/Sweeden/Dagens Nyheter - Nov. 20, 2012, Gaza City, Palestinian Territories. Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father, Fouad, was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.
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January 16, 2013 Permalink

Dakar Rally 2013

This year, racers in the Dakar Rally are more than halfway through their 8,000-mile journey. They travel via motorcycle, quad bike, car, or truck over extreme terrain in three countries in South America. Competitors and support crews come from more than 50 countries to challenge their mechanical, driving, and orienteering skills. The race kicked off in Lima on Jan. 5 and will wrap up this Sunday with the podium celebrations in Santiago, Chile. -- Lloyd Young (36 photos total)

Salvadoran Jorge Aguilar takes part in the sixth stage of Dakar Rally between Arica and Calama, Chile, on Jan. 10. (Felipe Trueba/European Pressphoto Agency)
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October 15, 2012 Permalink

High Octane and a Princess

Vancouver-based Reuters photographer Andy Clark has a long history with motorsport, starting with days he spent as a teenager on darkened summer highways north of Toronto in the late 1960s, riding in muscle cars and drag racing until the wee hours of the morning or until the cops chased him away. With his passion for the sport, Andy has spent his Saturday nights photographing at the Agassiz Speedway. Built in 1970, the speedway is a quarter mile oval track nestled into the side of Agassiz Mountain about 90 minutes east of Vancouver. The track hosts about 12 races a season beginning in April, running to late October. – Paula Nelson ( 23 photos total)

Late model sportsman stock cars compete in the premier race of the night at Agassiz Speedway in Agassiz, British Columbia, Aug. 11, 2012. From spring until autumn every two or three weeks, competitors and spectators gather on Saturday nights to watch or take part in the races for prize money, points and local honors at the 42-year-old race track. (Andy Clark/Reuters)
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September 14, 2012 Permalink

Britain's Pigeon Fanciers

Pigeons were once briefly used to carry stock market price reports between Paris and Berlin in the early beginnings of the Reuters news agency. Now, with a world connected by fiber optics and satellite beams, aficionados still train, keep and race pigeons for sport. The membership of Britain's Royal Pigeon Racing Associated is declining, but tens of thousands remain. This year, the 40th annual British Homing World Show of the Year, held in Blackpool, had 2,500 pigeon entries from around the world. -- Paula Nelson ( 27 photos total)

Caged entries in the annual Homing Pigeon World Show at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, northern England, January 21, 2012. The show, that is in its 40th year, has 4,000 entries from around the world including the U.S. and China and expects 35,000 visitors over the weekend. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters)
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September 5, 2012 Permalink

Paralympics 2012

Competing at many of the same London venues as participants in the summer Olympics, more than 4,000 athletes from 164 nations are taking part in the Paralympic Games. The athletes compete in 20 sports that have various classifications, depending on an athlete’s level of impairment. The Games conclude Sept. 9. -- Lloyd Young (40 photos total)

Richard Whitehead of Great Britain celebrates winning gold in the Men's 200-meter T42 Final on day 3 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Sept. 1. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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August 8, 2012 Permalink

London 2012 Olympics: Winning moments

They can come from any time during competition or the second a medal is won. Here's an updated look at Olympians in winning moments as the Games head to their conclusion this Sunday in London. -- Lloyd Young (47 photos total)

Andrea Baldini celebrates his team's victory at the end of his men's foil team gold medal fencing match against Japan's Yuki Ota at the ExCel venue at the on Aug. 5 at the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters)
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August 3, 2012 Permalink

London 2012 Olympics: One week in

The London 2012 Summer Olympics enter their second week. Eight thousand two hundred and fifty seven images flowed into our system today from Reuters, AFP, Getty and The Associated Press (and it's only mid-afternoon), yet they represent only a fraction of the visual coverage available of the summer games. Enjoy these select 56 new photographs. -- Paula Nelson (56 photos total)

Sophie van Gestel of The Netherlands digs out a ball during a beach volleyball match against Brazil, Aug. 3, 2012. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)
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August 1, 2012 Permalink

London 2012 Olympics (Update)

(NOTE: New images start at #56) The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad (and known informally as London 2012) are in full swing in London, United Kingdom. Around 10,500 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (the group responsible for organizing their people's participation in the games) will compete. Thousands and thousands of images will be made in London of the athletes and the spectators; the venues and the celebrations; the pomp and the circumstance. A search of current images in a wire database reveals images coming into the system at a rate of over 1,000 an hour during the hours of competition, resulting in a major picture editing challenge. A small sampling follows. -- Paula Nelson (55 photos total)

Kyla Ross of the U.S. performs on the balance beam during the women's gymnastics team final, July 31, 2012. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters)
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July 28, 2012 Permalink

Olympics 2012: Opening ceremonies

Once again in grand style the Olympics were opened with flash and flair. The show was designed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle with 15,000 volunteers helping take the audience through British history. The event culminated with the parade of athletes and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron for the London Games that run through Aug. 12. -- Lloyd Young (36 photos total)

The Olympic caulmdron is lit during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27 at the Olympic stadium in London (Cameron Spencer/AFP/GettyImages)
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July 18, 2012 Permalink

Olympics 2012: Athletes in training

In just over a week, the years, months, days, and minutes athletes have spent training will be put on display. The 10,000 competitors who will be vying for medals in 26 different sports have begun arriving in London. Here’s a look at many of those athletes competing for a spot in the upcoming Games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12. -- Lloyd Young (35 photos total)

Kohei Hasegawa (right) takes part in the training session for the Japan Men's wrestling team at the National Training Center on May 24 in Tokyo, Japan for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
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July 16, 2012 Permalink

Tour de France 2012: Part two

The 2012 Tour de France enters the final week with some tough climbs in the Pyrenees and a decisive individual time-trial remaining before the peloton races laps on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday. Barring surprises, leader Bradley Wiggins looks set to become the first British winner of the Tour in the 99 editions of the race to date. His main rival, Christopher Froome, isn't even trying to beat him, as they're on the same team. Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia has aggressively tried to hold his title, but Wiggins' mastery in the time trial and team strength in the mountains has left him minutes behind. An appalling and dangerous act of sabotage struck the peloton atop the Mur de Peguere as persons unknown threw upholstery tacks on the tarmac, causing Evans and around 30 other riders to flat there or on the steep descent. The Tour de France finishes in Paris after 2,173 miles on July 22. -- Lane Turner (31 photos total)

Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, speeds down Croix de Fer pass during the 11th stage of the Tour de France on July 12, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press)
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July 9, 2012 Permalink

Tour de France 2012: Part one

Equal parts travelogue, party, and sport, the Tour de France enthralls us every year with spectacular scenery and fierce competition. The 99th Tour this year covers 3,497 kilometers over 20 stages and a prologue, and can loosely be divided into three parts: the mostly-flat "sprinters'" stages in the first week, the high passes of the Alps in the second week, and the sharp ascents of the Pyrenees in the third week. Throughout, millions of fans with no need for tickets crowd the roads for the largest free sporting event and rolling party in the world, which unfolds in the world's largest stadium: the entire country of France, with bits of Belgium and Switzerland tossed in for good measure. The race itself is shaping up as a showdown between defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia and Bradley Wiggins of Britain. Disrupting matters was a devastating high-speed crash that took down almost half the peloton on stage six, already infamous as the Metz Massacre. The list of grisly injuries astonishes: broken tibia, punctured kidney, ruptured spleen, punctured lung, broken collar bone, fractured wrist, broken ribs, and more. Already almost 20 of the original 198 riders have abandoned with serious injuries from multiple crashes. Gathered here are images of the first week of the Tour, from the favorites to the domestiques, the gorgeous scenery, and the passionate fans. Thanks to photographer Veeral Patel for making his images available. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)

A fan cheers on the peloton riding in the sixth stage of the 2012 Tour de France cycling race starting in Epernay and finishing in Metz in northeastern France on July 6, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages)
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June 27, 2012 Permalink

Euro 2012 Soccer Championship, Part 2: The action

It’s been an action-packed tournament, to soccer fans’ delight, with more than two dozen matches played in Poland and the Ukraine during the European 2012 Soccer Championship. It’s down to four teams from the sixteen that qualified, and the final match will be played July 1 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. -- Lloyd Young(41 photos total)

Ukrainian forward Andriy Voronin (right) vies with Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist during the Euro 2012 championships soccer match between Ukraine and Sweden on June 11 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. Ukraine won 2-1. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)
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June 13, 2012 Permalink

Euro 2012 Soccer Championship, part one: The fans

Some happy, some sad, at times cheering or even fighting, fans of soccer are absorbed in the European 2012 Soccer Championship. Sixteen nations made it to the final tournament being held in Poland and the Ukraine with the final match to be played on July 1 at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. -- Lloyd Young(40 photos total)

A soccer fan soaks up the atmospshere ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship group D match between Ukraine and Sweden at The Olympic Stadium on June 11 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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May 30, 2012 Permalink

Olympics 2012: Carrying the flame

Earlier this month in Greece, the Olympic flame began its ceremonial journey to the site of the Summer Games in London. The flame is being carried in a relay by some 8,000 torchbearers to spread the message of peace, unity, and friendship over 70 days until it arrives at the opening ceremonies on July 27. -- Lloyd Young -- Editor's note: We'll be posting additional Olympic themed galleries leading up to and throughout the games. (29 photos total)

Nadine Struijk of The Netherlands, carrying the Olympic flame during the torch relay through Brynmawr, Wales, on May 25. Struijk was in the Dutch national synchronized swimming team for many years and now coaches the junior Dutch team, but gets her moment to shine here in the torch relay running up to the London Olympic Games. (Gareth Fuller/Locog via Associated Press)
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February 13, 2012 Permalink

Skating

It's time to celebrate the simple joys of ice skating. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, winter has provided frozen playgrounds for all to enjoy. Ice skating takes many forms, from speed skating to professional hockey to figure skating to sliding around on a pond. In the Netherlands, hope was high that the Elfstedentocht, or Eleven Cities Tour, could take place on frozen canals for the first time since 1997, but ice thickness was thus far insufficient to support the estimated 16,000 skaters who would take part in the 124 mile event. Techendorf, Austria hosted an alternative event for 6,000. Gathered here are images of people enjoying the combination of smooth ice and steel blades. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)

A family skates across Mendenhall Lake in Juneau, Alaska on January 16, 2012. (Michael Penn/The Juneau Empire/Associated Press)
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February 10, 2012 Permalink

2012 World Press Photo Contest Winners

By the numbers: 5, 247 Photographers, 124 Nationalities, 101, 254 pictures. Three hundred and fifty images by 57 photographers of 24 nationalities were awarded prizes in nine categories. To view the entire collection of winning images from the 55th World Press Photo Contest: 2012 World Press Photo. -- Paula Nelson (16 photos total)

2012 World Press Photo of the Year: A woman holds a wounded relative during protests against President Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Oct. 15, 2011. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)
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January 25, 2012 Permalink

2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games

For the first time ever, young athletes gathered Jan. 13-22 in Austria for the Winter Youth Olympic Games. The event began with traditional opening ceremonies for more than 1,000 competitors from more than 70 nations. Ranging in age from 14 to 18, they competed in the 15 core events held at the Olympic Games. Keep an eye out for the names you see here, as they may appear again in Sochi, Russia, during the XXII Winter Olympics in February 2014. -- Lloyd Young (29 photos total)

The flag bearer from Austria, Tamara Grascher enters the stadium during the opening ceremony of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck Jan. 13, 2012. (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters)
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January 13, 2012 Permalink

Dakar rally 2012

Traversing over 8000 miles through Argentina, Chile, and Peru, the Dakar rally pits drivers and riders against each other and against extreme terrain. The 14-stage race attracts competitors from over 50 countries to race 465 vehicles - motorcycles, quad bikes, cars, and trucks - through deserts, rivers, and mountains. The race has seen its share of tragedy over the years, and the 2012 edition is no different, with Argentine motorcycle rider Jorge Boero dying after a crash near the end of the very first stage, and two spectators dying when their ultralight aircraft crashed. Begun on January 1st, the race concludes Saturday in Lima, Peru. -- Lane Turner (37 photos total)

Marc Coma races his KTM in the 10th stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Iquique and Arica, Chile on January 11, 2012. (Jerome Prevost/Associatied Press/Pool)
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December 23, 2011 Permalink

The Year in Pictures: Part III

In this post, featuring images from the last quarter of 2011, we remember a tumultuous year of change across the globe, the capture of Khadafi, the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs, fire, famine, flood and protests. A memorable year, indeed. -- Paula Nelson -- Please see part 1 and part 2 from earlier. (EDITOR'S NOTE: We will not post a Big Picture on Monday, December 26, due to the Christmas Holiday ) (51 photos total)

A defaced portrait of fugitive Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli on Sept. 1, 2011 as the fallen strongman vowed again not to surrender in a message broadcast on the 42nd anniversary of the coup which brought him to power. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)
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November 2, 2011 Permalink

Pan American Games 2011

The 16th Pan American Games wrapped up with closing ceremonies this past weekend in Guadalajara, Mexico. Over 6,000 athletes from 42 nations in the Western Hemisphere competed for gold, silver, and bronze medals in many of the same events that will be seen during the Olympic Games next summer in London. Athletes were also vying for Olympic qualifying berths in many of the events. The 2015 edition of the games will be held in Toronto. -- Lloyd Young (35 photos total)

Cuban Jose Alberto Sanchez (left) battle other runners in the men's 3000 meter steeplechase race. (Antonio Scorza/AFP/Getty Images)
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September 14, 2011 Permalink

2011 NFL season kicks off

Seven weeks ago, a labor dispute threatened to push the NFL season to the sidelines. Instead, the goliaths of gridiron made a glorious return this past week, from the last-second goalstand by the Super Bowl champs Green Bay Packers to Tom Brady’s second-to-no-other-Patriot’s 517 yards passing. The games also paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks. Though the season is just one week old, fans across the globe are hoping their teams will play in the grand finale next Feb. 5, held for the first time in Indianapolis. -- Lloyd Young (34 photos total)

Miami Dolphins Brandon Marshall (19) dives over New England Patriots Devin McCourty after catching a pass during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Miami Sept. 12. Hans Deryk/Reuters)
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August 9, 2011 Permalink

Training for the 2012 games

With just a year until the 2012 Summer Olympics, athletes are immersed in intensive training around the world. Reuters photographer Jason Lee documented members of China's Yunzhinan Swimming Club as they prepared for the Paralympics, which will be held in London in August, after the Olympics. Olympic-style games for disabled athletes were organized for the first time during the 1960 Summer Games in Rome. -- Lloyd Young (21 photos total)

Qian Hongyan, 16, from the Yunzhinan Swimming Club for the handicapped, climbs onto a platform during a daily training session at a swimming centre in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan province, July 30, 2011. About 30 disabled athletes from the club aged 10 to 22 are training for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The club was founded in August 2007. (Reuters/Jason Lee)
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July 25, 2011 Permalink

2011 Tour de France, Part 2

With the crashes of the first half of the race behind him, Cadel Evans finally ascended to the top step of the Tour de France podium after winning the 2011 edition. Evans had twice finished second. It was a tour of firsts. Evans became the first Australian to win the world's most prestigious bike race, and the brothers Schleck, Andy and Frank, became the first siblings to share the podium, taking second and third, respectively. In an electrifying tour, Evans pulled out the win on the second to last day in the individual time trial, soundly beating both Schlecks to win the three-week race by over a minute and a half. A plucky Frenchman, Thomas Voeckler, had given French fans hope for ten days as he tenaciously clung to the overall lead, only to finally succumb on the grueling climbs of the Alps. He finished fourth overall. Defending champion Alberto Contador, perhaps weakened by his May victory in the exhausting three-week Tour of Italy, or Giro d'Italia, could do no better than fifth. Through it all, the beauty of France shone through. The Big Picture offers special thanks to Veeral Patel for making his photographs available. -- Lane Turner (34 photos total)

Australia's Cadel Evans (center) celebrates with BMC teammates on the Champs-Elysees after he won the 2011 Tour de France cycling race on July 24, 2011. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images)
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July 18, 2011 Permalink

Women's World Cup

After an emotional run through the tournament that few predicted, Japan emerged yesterday as the unlikely champion of the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011. After enduring the triple disasters of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima Diaichi nuclear catastrophe, Japan rejoiced in the first good news in months. The final came in dramatic fashion against the United States in a penalty shoot-out after the score was tied 2-2 in regulation. Sixteen countries fought for the title in Germany, resulting in the first Asian world champion. Collected here are images of the games, fans, and celebration. -- Lane Turner (30 photos total)

Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa celebrates with the trophy and teammates after the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match against the US on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main Germany. Japan won 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out after the final had finished 2-2 following extra-time. (Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images)
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July 15, 2011 Permalink

2011 Tour de France, Part 1

The world's most beautiful stadium - the entire country of France - annually hosts the most important bike race of the year: the Tour de France. Upwards of 12 million fans line the roads to watch the race. For free. No tickets needed. The race traverses over 2000 miles in 21 days of racing. Every year the route changes, but the mountains are a constant: racers must scale absurdly steep peaks in both the Pyrenees and the Alps before a victory race onto the Champs Elysees in Paris. This year's tour may be remembered most for the spate of horrible crashes that have eliminated many of the top riders. Most outrageously, a media car hit a cyclist at speed, causing a horrific crash that sent another rider cartwheeling into a barbed-wire fence. Both riders remounted and finished the stage. The race goes on through July 24. -- Lane Turner (35 photos total)

The peloton rides past the rocky tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel in the 226.5 km sixth stage of the 2011 Tour de France cycling race run between Dinan and Lisieux in northwestern France on July 7, 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
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April 4, 2011 Permalink

Cricket passion

Only soccer rivals cricket in transcending the world of sport to become a deeply felt expression of culture. And in cricket-mad South Asia, a frenzy of feeling for the game burst open for the past two months as the Cricket World Cup 2011 was played out in host countries India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Fourteen nations participated in the tournament, and the semifinals featured what is arguably the world's most heated sports rivalry: India vs. Pakistan. Collected here are pictures from the past few months of people playing, watching, and living cricket in several countries in South Asia. -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)

Children play cricket on the railway tracks on March 10, 2011 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
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March 25, 2011 Permalink

Dog Sledding season - coming to a close

The well-known Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, held in Alaska, welcomed its first native Alaskan champion since 1976. Begun in 1973, the grueling race - through blizzards, whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures, gale-force winds - covers 1,150 miles in nine to fifteen days from Willow to Nome, Alaska. There are many other sled dog races in locations around the world, including races in Norway, British Columbia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Minsk, and through the Alps of France and Switzerland. The following images are a collection from those races. -- Paula Nelson (42 photos total)

A dog rests during the 1000 km (621 miles) long Finnmarkslopet, the world's northernmost sled dog race, in Finnmark county, northern Norway, March 14, 2011. (Tore Meek/Scanpix/Reuters)
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February 11, 2011 Permalink

World Press Photo: winners

On the morning of February 11, 2011, the international jury of the 54th World Press Photo Contest named a photo by South African photographer Jodi Bieber, World Press Photo of the Year 2010. The image is a portrait of Bibi Aisha, disfigured as punishment for fleeing her husband's house, taken in Kabul, Afghanistan. Over 5,691 photographers entered 108,059 images in the 2011 World Press Photo Contest and after the two-week judging period, 56 were named winners in nine categories. It is a prestigious contest and an honor to be named a winner. The following post shares 23 of those winning images. For more on the contest, including a time-lapse video of the jury room being set up, to hear the jury chairs discuss the images that were named winners, and to learn more about the competition, World Press Photo -- Paula Nelson (23 photos total)

Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old woman from Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, fled back to her family home from her husband's house, complaining of violent treatment. The Taliban arrived one night, demanding Bibi be handed over to face justice. After a Taliban commander pronounced his verdict, Bibi's brother-in-law held her down and her husband sliced off her ears and then cut off her nose. Bibi was abandoned, but later rescued by aid workers and the U.S. military. After time in a women's refuge in Kabul, she was taken to America, where she received counseling and reconstructive surgery. Bibi Aisha now lives in the United States. World Press Photo of the Year 2010, Jodi Bieber, South Africa, Institute for Artist Management/Goodman Gallery for Time magazine.
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January 31, 2011 Permalink

Winter sports beat winter blues

In the Northern Hemisphere the short, dark days of January can put people in a funk. Unless they embrace the weather. Playing in the snow may be the best cure for the winter blues. Collected here are pictures from the last month showing everyone from Olympic and professional athletes performing at the highest levels of their sports to ordinary people enjoying an old-fashioned snowball fight in the street. Who needs spring? -- Lane Turner (39 photos total)

A man dives into the icy water in St. Petersburg, Russia, January 30, 2011. The temperature in St. Petersburg was around -3C (27 F). (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

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January 14, 2011 Permalink

Dakar 2011

The 2011 edition of the Dakar Rally, being held in South America for the third year, is nearly complete, with competitors heading toward the finish line in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday, January 16th. This is the 32nd running of the rally, and over 400 Teams are competing in the race with 200 motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, 140 cars, and 67 trucks. In the end, racers will have traveled 9,500 km (5,900 mi) in 13 stages across spectacular and varied terrain in both Argentina and Chile. Collected here are a handful of images from this year's race as it nears its end this weekend. [Editor's note: Next entry on 1/19] (42 photos total)

Giofil Aprillia's Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez, from Chile, rides his motorcycle during the sixth stage of the 2011 Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally between Iquique and Arica in Chile, Friday, Jan. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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November 12, 2010 Permalink

2010 Asian Games Opening Ceremony

Earlier today, in Guangzhou, China, the Opening Ceremony for the 16th Asian Games took place, with lavish stagecraft, costumes, fireworks and performers welcoming participants. Some 14,000 athletes from 45 countries and territories will compete in 42 sporting disciplines until November 27. Collected here are colorful scenes from Guangzhou, China. (29 photos total)

Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 16th Asian Games Guangzhou 2010 at Haixinsha Square on November 12, 2010 in Guangzhou, China. (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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November 10, 2010 Permalink

2010 World Fencing Championships

From November 4th through the 11th, 950 athletes from 110 countries are meeting in Paris, France for the 2010 World Fencing Championships. The annual event welcomes contestants to the historic Grand Palais in Paris this year, to participate in foil, épée, and sabre events. Collected here are several images from the first half of the 2010 competition. (33 photos total)

Maureen Nisima (left) of France and Tatiana Logournova of Russia compete during their semi-final of the epee competition at the 2010 the World Fencing Championships at the Grand Palais in Paris, France on November 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)
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October 15, 2010 Permalink

The XIX Commonwealth Games

After much worry and criticism before the start, the nineteenth Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India have now reached a successful conclusion without any of the disastrous events that had been predicted. Of the 71 participating countries, Australia topped the medal chart, taking home 177 medals, 74 of them gold. Host nation India also fared well, coming in second overall with 101 medals. The games were held from October 3rd through the 14th, ending with a closing ceremony in New Delhi yesterday. Collected here are photographs of the XIX Commonwealth Games from around India over the past couple of weeks. (51 photos total)

An athlete runs in the Men's Marathon at Vijay Chowk during day eleven of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games on October 14, 2010 in Delhi, India. (Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
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October 4, 2010 Permalink

Waveriders

Yesterday in Huntington Beach, California, the third annual multi-faith Blessing of the Waves event was held to honor the ocean and protest coastal pollution. Several thousand reportedly attended the event, in part to recognize a spiritual aspect of man's relationship to water, the coastline, and the surf. Whether it's massive rolling ocean waves, or standing waves in rivers, or wind-driven lakewater, people around the world find a way to get out and ride on belly boards, kiteboards, longboards, wakeboards and more. As summer rolls to a close, find here a collection of recent photographs of these waveriders around the world over the past several months. (41 photos total)

Former three-time Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Champion Andy Irons from Kauai, Hawaii rides the tube of a wave Friday Sept. 3, 2010. Irons captured his first ASP World Tour victory in three years defeating CJ Hobgood in the final. (AP Photo/ASP, Kirstin Scholtz)
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October 1, 2010 Permalink

India prepares for the Commonwealth Games

In two days, on Sunday October 3rd, the nineteenth Commonwealth Games will officially open in New Delhi, India. 72 nations will be sending more than 6,000 athletes to New Delhi to compete in 17 sports in 26 different venues from October 3rd through the 14th. Much criticism has been leveled at the host city for its preparation efforts, as security concerns are high and several incidents occurred recently, including construction accidents, an outbreak of dengue fever, and reports of filthy conditions at the Athlete's Village. Armies of laborers appear to have caught up with many of the demands, and the opening ceremonies will take place as scheduled on Sunday. Collected here are recent photographs from New Delhi, India as workers and athletes prepare for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. (43 photos total)

A member of the Bhiwani Boxing Club practices inside a stadium in Bhiwani in the northern Indian state of Haryana September 9, 2010. The club consists of more than 150 members, out of which three have been selected to compete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games that will be held in New Delhi, club officials said on Thursday. Picture taken September 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)
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September 3, 2010 Permalink

Diving in

As summer begins to wind down, the temperature still remains high in some places (in the Northern hemisphere, of course). Cool waters call out to those who would leap in, momentarily letting gravity have its way with them, pulling them down as they flail, shout or twist. Collected here are a handful of photos of divers around the world, showing their professional artistry, daredevil bravado, or just simple joy as they take the plunge. (36 photos total)

Alves Jucelino of Brazil dives 25m (82 ft) from the top of Roche Dam during the World Cup Cliff Diving Race in Bardonecchia, about 100km (65 mi) northwest of Turin, northern Italy on August 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)
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August 16, 2010 Permalink

Singapore 2010 Youth Olympics

On Saturday, Singapore welcomed young athletes from around the world in a ceremony opening the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. This is the first ever Summer Youth Olympics, an event designed to be celebrated in the same tradition of the Olympic Games - the major difference being that the competitors are all between 14 and 18 years of age. This year, 3,500 athletes from more than 200 countries are competing in 184 events in 26 sports. Collected here are some photographs of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, which will run until its closing ceremony on August 26th. (37 photos total)

Darren Choy of Singapore carries the Youth Olympic torch on his way to ignite the Youth Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Youth Olympics at The Float at Marina Bay on August 14, 2010 in Singapore. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
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July 26, 2010 Permalink

2010 Tour de France - part II

The 2010 Tour de France cycling race is now over, with Spain's Alberto Contador claiming his third win in Paris yesterday. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg finished 39 seconds back, and seven-time tour winner Lance Armstrong finished 23rd in his final Tour de France. This 97th running of the iconic race started in Rotterdam with 198 riders in 22 teams of nine, and finished yesterday, 3,642 km (2,263 mi) later in Paris, France on the Champs-Elysees. Collected here are a handful of images from the second half of the race - see part I for earlier photos. (41 photos total)

The pack ride past sunflowers during the 184.5 km 14th stage of the 2010 Tour de France between Revel and Ax-Trois-Domaines, southern France in the Pyrenees region on July 18, 2010. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
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July 16, 2010 Permalink

2010 Tour de France - part I

The first half of the 20-stage 2010 Tour de France cycling race is over, with the current overall leader being Andy Schleck of Luxembourg riding for Denmark's Team Saxo Bank. This 97th running of the iconic race started in Rotterdam with 198 riders in 22 teams of nine, and will conclude 3,642 km (2,263 mi) later in Paris on the Champs-Elysees on July 25. Collected here are a handful of images from the race so far - another entry will follow after the final stage has been run. (40 photos total)

The peloton makes its way under a bridge during stage three of the 2010 Tour de France from Wanze to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut on July 6, 2010 in Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
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July 12, 2010 Permalink

2010 World Cup comes to a close

After a month of matches, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament is over, with Spain claiming its first ever trophy, the Netherlands placing second, and Germany taking third place. 32 teams came to South Africa last month, and the eyes of the world were upon them as television and online viewership broke records, and in many places productivity dropped sharply when matches were being played. Collected here are photos from the second half of the tournament (see earlier entries: 1, 2, 3), the action on the fields, and the reactions of those following the games in both South Africa and their home countries, as we bid farewell to the 2010 World Cup. (44 photos total)

A woman takes a photograph of the the Cape Town stadium seen from the Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, July 2, 2010. Cape Town stadium hosted eight of the World Cup matches this year. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
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June 25, 2010 Permalink

Halfway in - 2010 World Cup

Nearly halfway through the month-long 2010 World Cup Tournament in South Africa, over a dozen teams have been eliminated from the original group of 32, with the Round of 16 beginning tomorrow, June 26th. Television and web viewership has been setting records all over the world as supporters tune in to watch the events in South Africa and react along with the fans and players in the stadiums as they celebrate their wins and suffer through losses. Collected here are recent photos from the 2010 World Cup, as some of the players and their supporters have been experiencing it - in South Africa and around the globe. (43 photos total)

Landon Donovan of the United States (front left) celebrates after scoring a goal with fellow team members Clint Dempsey (back left) and Edson Buddle, during the World Cup group C soccer match between the United States and Algeria at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, June 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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June 14, 2010 Permalink

Opening weekend - 2010 World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup opened last Friday in South Africa, after years of preparation, with an Opening Ceremony at Soccer City Stadium - the first matches taking place over the weekend. Thousands attended the opening concerts and matches in person, while tens of millions watched events unfold on screens large and small across the world. Collected here are some scenes from the opening ceremonies, the first several matches, and fans young and old around the world riding emotional rollercoasters while watching the 2010 World Cup. (42 photos total)

A man watches the opening match of the 2010 World Cup between South Africa and Mexico in Bloemfontein June 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)
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June 9, 2010 Permalink

Preparing for the World Cup

Next Friday, June 11th, South Africa will step onto the world stage as host nation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the international soccer tournament begins - welcoming 32 teams from around the world. South Africa was selected as the host six years ago, and has been preparing ever since, building five new stadiums, upgrading five existing stadiums, and building up public transportation, including a new rapid transit railway. Over the past weeks, the teams and their legions of fans have begun arriving while final preparations are made and and dress rehearsals held for the Opening Ceremony on Friday. The tournament takes place over a month, ending on July 11th. Collected here are recent scenes from South Africa as it readies itself to welcome the world. (39 photos total)

A fan waves a South African flag during a parade for Bafana Bafana, the South African national soccer team on June 9th, 2010 in Sandton, South Africa. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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March 17, 2010 Permalink

2010 Winter Paralympics

Over 500 athletes from 44 countries around the world have once again descended on Vancouver Canada, for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games, (officially known as the X Paralympic Winter Games). After a separate torch relay and opening ceremony, competitors faced off in five different sports: Sledge hockey, Wheelchair curling, Alpine skiing, Biathlon, and Cross-country skiing - the last three broken into classes of sitting, standing and visually impaired. Currently Russia is leading the medals race, with Canada and Ukraine tied for second place. The Winter Paralympics continue until the Closing Ceremony on Sunday March 21st. Collected here are some scenes from this year's games. (40 photos total)

Torchbearer Daniel Wesley carries the Paralympic flame during the Torch Relay at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games at BC Place on March 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
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March 1, 2010 Permalink

Vancouver 2010, part 2 of 2

Seventeen days after it began, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are now complete. A total of 258 medals were awarded, with the United States, Germany, and Canada collecting the most medals. The second half of the games went much smoother than the glitchy first week, with many memorable performances by athletes from all over the world. Last night, a crowd of 60,000 filled BC Place in Vancouver for the Closing Ceremony, which took place shortly after the final event - a Gold Medal win by host nation Canada's ice hockey team over the U.S. The Olympic flame will next pass to London, England in 2012 for the Summer Games, and to Sochi, Russia in 2014 for the next Winter games. Collected here are photos from the second half of this year's events in Vancouver (see Part 1 for the first half). (45 photos total)

Ryan St. Onge of the US practices ahead of the men's Freestyle Skiing aerials final at Cypress Mountain, north of Vancouver on February 25, 2010 during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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February 19, 2010 Permalink

Vancouver 2010, part 1 of 2

Today is Day 8 of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver Canada, almost the halfway mark, and it's time to have a look at the activities in British Columbia. Over 100 medals have been awarded so far, with the United States, Germany, Norway and Canada leading the medal race. This year's event has been nicknamed by some as the Glitch Games, with more than its share of problems, from a malfunctioning cauldron on opening night to weather problems and course troubles. VANOC officials said they were working on the issues they could control, and were optimistic as athletes continued to deliver amazing performances in the many venues around Vancouver. Collected here are some photos from Days 1-8, with more to follow in another entry (now posted: Part 2) . (45 photos total)

Megan Sweeney of The United States descends the track during the Luge Women's Singles on day 5 of the 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler Sliding Centre on February 16, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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February 10, 2010 Permalink

Olympic Torch Relay nearly complete

With only two days left until the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, the 106-day, 26,000 km overland Olympic Torch Relay through Canada has nearly come to a close. Back in December, we featured 33 images from the first 44 days of the journey. Today, we bring you highlights from the last 73 days, as torchbearers bring the flame ever closer to its final destination, Vancouver's BC Place, to light the Olympic Cauldron and signal the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12th. (42 photos total)

The Olympic flame is passed between two torches in Arnprior, Ontario on day 45 of the Olympic Torch Relay, December 13, 2009. (© VANOC/COVAN, Luca Bertacchi with IMF)
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February 8, 2010 Permalink

Dogs and sleds

Dogsleds are in the news lately, as several races have recently taken place around the Northern Hemisphere, and as transportation choices for both a meeting of the G-7 and the start of the 2010 U.S. census. Mushers brought representatives to Iqaluit, a small village in Nunavut Territory, chosen to host a recent G-7 meeting, in part so Canada could assert sovereignty over its part of the Arctic. The 2010 U.S. Census, as per tradition, kicked off its count on January 25th in a rural part of Alaska in the small village of Noorvik, as census takers arrived by dogsled. And recent dogsled races include Le Grand Odyssee, the Sedivackuv Long, Pirena, the Aviemore Husky Sled Dog Rally and many more smaller regional competitions. Collected here are a handful of recent photos of sleds, dogs, and their humans. (30 photos total)

Three-year-old J-Sun Inti howls to the tunes of his owner's harmonica. He is part of the Boston Snowdogs dog slead team out of Dorchester as they awaited to take part in the Myopia dog sled competition on Saturday January 16, 2010 in Hamilton, Massachusetts. J-Sun Inti was a rescue dog and was adopted in Peru, his name means "son of the sun" in the Tarahumara language. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)
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February 3, 2010 Permalink

Tough Guy Challenge 2010

The 24th annual Tough Guy Challenge took place last weekend, on Sunday, January 31st, on South Perton Farm, near Wolverhampton, England. Despite being billed as "the safest most dangerous taste of physical and mental endurance pain in the world", this year's race still attracted over 5,000 men and women - all of them signing a disclaimer saying "It's my own bloody fault for being here". About 600 racers did not complete the course this year - the winner being Paul Jones of Oswestry, England, completing the course in one hour 18 minutes. The Challenge is annual event to raise cash for charity with funds going to the Mr. Mouse Farm for Unfortunates. Special thanks today to photographer Mike King, who was kind enough to share 16 of his great photographs of the 2010 Tough Guy Challenge below. (31 photos total)

A competitor emerges from muddy water during the Tough Guy Challenge, at South Perton Farm, in Wolverhampton, England, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. Thousands run the biannual assault course, and are challenged by 21 different obstacles, including, fire, tunnels, and swamps to complete the track. (© Mike King)
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January 11, 2010 Permalink

Dakar Rally 2010

The 31st running of the Dakar Rally is being held in South America for the second year, instead of the traditional African route, due to ongoing security concerns. This year's race began and will end in Buenos Aires, covering a looping 9,000 kilometers between Argentina and Chile over 14 stages. 362 Teams began the race with 176 motorcycles and quad bikes, 134 cars, and 52 trucks. The race is just over halfway completed now, the winners expected to cross the finish line on January 16th. Collected here are several photographs from the first 8 stages of this year's rally. (37 photos total)

Spain's Gerard Farres Guell kicks up sand with his Aprilia during the 4th stage of the Dakar 2010 between Fiambala, Argentina, and Copiapo, Chile on January 5, 2010. Spain's Marc Coma won the stage, France's David Casteu took the second place and France's Cyril Despres the third. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
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December 4, 2009 Permalink

Olympic Torch Relay heads to Vancouver

After departing Athens, Greece on October 30th, the Olympic Flame has been traveling across Canada, now about 1/3 of the way into its 106-day, 26,000 km overland relay (another 18,000 km by air). Over 12,000 torch-bearers will carry the flame along a winding path covering all of Canada, passing through over 1,000 communities total - from Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary to smaller communities such as Gwa'Sala-Nakwaxda'xw, Notre-Dame-du-Lac, Moose Jaw and Sheshatshiu. The final destination: Vancouver's BC Place on February 12, 2010, where it will light the Olympic Cauldron and signal the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. To view part two of the relay, click here. (33 photos total) [Editor's note, Big Picture will be on break until 12/14/09]

Torchbearer Ruth Sadler carries the Olympic Torch into the Pacific Ocean to meet a surfer along the shores of Pacific Rim National Park just outside Tofino, British Columbia November 1, 2009. The torch was carried out to far west coast of Canada on the third day of its 106-day journey leading to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)
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October 14, 2009 Permalink

Artistic Gymnastics World Championships

The 2009 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships are taking place right now in London, England (until October 18th). London's O2 arena is housing a total of 437 gymnasts from 72 delegations competing for medals in ten events, plus the men's and women's individual all-around medals. The championships at the O2 Arena are seen as a preview of 2012, when London will host the Olympic games, and the O2 will house both basketball and gymnastic events. Collected here are some photographs of training and qualifying rounds from this year, the 41st World Championships. (36 photos total)

A gymnast practices on the rings during a training session before the Artistic Gymnastic World Championships at the O2 Arena in London October 10, 2009. (REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh)
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July 31, 2009 Permalink

Dive right in

As the summer crawls into its later stages, the weather outside is heating up (in the Northern hemisphere at least). Cool waters call out to those who would leap in, momentarily letting gravity have its way with them, pulling them down as they flail, shout or twist. Collected here are a handful of photos of divers around the world, showing their professional artistry, daredevil bravado, or just simple joy as they take the plunge. (35 photos total)

Chinese diver Li Kang prepares for a dive during the Women's 10m final on July 18, 2009 at the FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
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July 24, 2009 Permalink

2009 Tour de France

The 96th Tour de France cycling race is currently underway, with the final, 21st stage of the 3,445 km (2,141 mi) race coming up on Sunday, July 26th. At this time, Alberto Contado of Kazakh team Astana appears to be headed toward a second tour title, currently leading riders Andy Schleck of Team Saxo Bank and Luxembourg and, in 3rd place, Lance Armstrong, also of team Astana. Armstrong's recent emergence from retirement to return to this year's tour has been the focus of much of this year's media coverage. 180 riders in twenty teams started in Monaco on July 4th, heading for the final ride into Paris this weekend. Collected here are a handful of images from the 2009 race. (40 photos total)

The Columbia Highroad team sets the pace of the pack during the third stage of the Tour de France in southern France, Monday July 6, 2009. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)
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June 24, 2009 Permalink

Soccer in South Africa

South Africa is currently hosting the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, an international soccer tournament held every four years. The Confederations Cup is regarded as a dress rehearsal for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, also hosted by South Africa - the first World Cup to be held in Africa. Expectations are high as preparations, stadium construction and planning for both tournaments have recently picked up pace. With soccer fever sweeping through the country, you'll find here some recent scenes of South Africans enjoying football as both participants and fans. (28 photos total)

Children play soccer in a field in Erasmia township on June 23, 2009 in Erasmia, South Africa. (Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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May 27, 2009 Permalink

Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling

Last Monday, May 25th, the annual Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake was held near Gloucester, England. In a tradition that dates back at least 200 years, possibly much longer, groups of fearless competitors chase an 8 pound (3.5 kg) round of Double Gloucester Cheese down an extremely steep and uneven hill, with a 1:1 gradient in some parts. Thousands of spectators gather to watch the five downhill and four uphill races, and to celebrate the winners and console the losers afterward. Injuries such as broken bones and concussions are commonplace, but the event continues to grow in popularity. The winner of each race is awarded the delicious round of cheese they were chasing. (17 photos total)

Watched over by Rob Seex, the Cheese Rolling Master of Ceremonies (top hat), contestants in the men's race chase a Double Gloucester Cheese down the steep gradient of Cooper's Hill during the annual Bank Holiday tradition of cheese-rolling on May 25, 2009 in Brockworth, Gloucestershire, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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May 8, 2009 Permalink

The Volvo Ocean Race

The 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race has arrived in Boston Harbor. Boston is the 6th port city for the eight teams which will race around the globe for nine months over 37,000 nautical miles split into 10 legs. The ships they sail are Volvo Open 70 class racing yachts, 21.5 meters (70.5 feet) long, manned by a crew of 11. While the ships are in port, they hold in-port races as well as hosting events and entertainment for local residents. Tomorrow (Saturday, May 9th), the fleet will hold its in-port race in Boston Harbor, and later, on May 16th, they will depart for leg 7 of the race, to Galway, Ireland, concluding the race in St. Petersburg, Russia in late June. Oskar Kihlborg, team photographer for Ericsson Racing with nearly 15 years experience as a sailing photographer has been kind enough to share the following photos with us. (31 photos total)
[Author's note: I will be on vacation next week. Big Picture entries will resume May 18th.]

Team russia chases Team Ericsson's E3 in the Volvo Ocean Race in-port race in Alicante, Spain. (© Oskar Kihlborg)
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May 4, 2009 Permalink

The 2009 Kentucky Derby

Last Saturday, May 2nd, the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby took place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In an improbable ending, Jockey Calvin Borel rode Mine That Bird - a 50-1 longshot - to a huge victory, coming from dead last to win by 6 3/4 lengths. The Kentucky Derby is often billed as "the most exciting two minutes in sports", and Borel and Mine That Bird did their best to live up to that standard. Collected here are a few photographs leading up to the Kentucky Derby, and of the race itself. (29 photos total)

Kentucky Derby hopeful General Quarters rubs his head on his stall after his early morning workout at the 135th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2009, in Louisville, Kentucky. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
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May 1, 2009 Permalink

2009 Formula One season, wet & dry

The 2009 Formula One World Championship season has held only 4 rounds so far (of a scheduled 17), and has experienced extremes of dry and wet weather already - heavy downpours in Malaysia and China, followed by dry desert heat of over 37 degrees C (100 F) in Bahrain. Brawn GP team driver Jenson Button currently leads the standings, winning 3 of the first four rounds. The next round will be the Gran Premio de España in Barcelona Spain on may 10th. Collected here are photographs from the most recent three races. (31 photos total)

McLaren Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton drives at the Sakhir racetrack during the qualifying session of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix on April 25, 2009 in Manama, Bahrain. Toyota's Italian driver Jarno Trulli took the pole position ahead of Toyota's German driver Timo Glock and Red Bull's German driver Sebastian Vettel. (FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
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March 9, 2009 Permalink

Dog sledding

As winter begins to wind down, we are still in the middle of sled dog racing season. The Iditarod in Alaska had its ceremonial start in Anchorage last Saturday (the 7th), the Yukon Quest race from Canada's Yukon Territory to Alaska took place back in mid-February, and the Can-Am Crown races were held in Maine only a couple of weeks ago. The most well-known of the races, the Iditarod Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, covers 1,868 km (1,161 mi), and takes anywhere from 8 to 12 days for mushers and their teams of 16 dogs to complete. Collected here are several photos from recent sled dog races and training sessions around the Northern Hemisphere. (28 photos total)

A Dog belonging to Rhonda O'Hearn of Sandown, NH, who is competing in the Willard Jalbert, Jr. CAC 60, a 60-mile race, waits before the start of the race at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
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February 2, 2009 Permalink

Tough Guy Challenge 2009

Billed as "the safest most dangerous taste of physical and mental endurance pain in the world", the Tough Guy Challenge took place yesterday, February 1st, on South Perton Farm, near Wolverhampton, England. Thousands of challengers (men and women) started the endurance race, with hundreds dropping out along the way due to exhaustion or injury - broken bones, dislocations, and over 600 cases of hypothermia. Even the overall winner, James Appleton, was treated briefly for hypothermia. The course takes racers through 21 obstacles - through mud, freezing water, across ropes and burning terrain. The challenge is also a fundraiser for charity, with funds going to the Mr. Mouse Farm for Unfortunates, which looks after hundreds of retired horses and provides jobs to young offenders. Here are a handful of photos from yesterday's race. (20 photos total)

Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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January 16, 2009 Permalink

Sailing, around the world

Last December the maxi yacht "Wild Oats XI" won the 2008 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, sailing 630 nautical miles (1,170 km) in one day, 20 hours and 34 minutes. The Volvo Ocean Race, a 10-leg round-the-world race started in October and will continue until June. The Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009 will start in April, and training sessions are now underway. Sailing as a modern and historic undertaking is alive and well around the world, here are a few photos of sailing events from the past year. (30 photos total)

A figure from Antony Gormley's "Another Place" welcomes one of the Tall Ships to Merseyside as it sails past the Burbo Bank windfarm on the approach to the Port of Liverpool on July 18, 2008, Liverpool, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
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January 12, 2009 Permalink

The 2009 Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally was traditionally an off-road multi-stage race from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. However, due to fears of terrorist attacks, the Rally was cancelled last year - and this year moved to an entirely different continent, South America. 540 teams started the 2009 Dakar Rally in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 3rd, and, after 9,578 kilometres (5,951 mi) in 14 stages, will return to Buenos Aires on January 17th. Back in France, a small group of die-hard African Rally fans decided to stage their own version of the Dakar, folllowing the traditional route despite any terrorist threat, and have dubbed their version the "Africa Race", and 27 drivers started out from Marseille, France on December 28th. Here are some photographs of the official Dakar Rally (in South America), and a few of its shadow competition, the Africa Race. (30 photos total)

Carlos Sainz of Spain drives his Volkswagen during the 8th stage of the Dakar 2009, between Valparaiso and La Serena, Chile. Carlos Sainz won the stage and kept the lead in the race. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
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January 2, 2009 Permalink

Ski Jumping World Cup

The International Ski Federation (FIS) is now holding the 2008-09 Ski Jumping World Cup - the 30th season to date. This World Cup season began on November 29th in Kuusamo, Finland, and will run through 28 competitions ending on March 22nd in Planica, Slovenia. Top jumpers can regularly make jumps of about 140 meters (460 feet). The current overall leader (individual) is Simon Ammann of Switzerland. (30 photos total)

Austria's Thomas Morgenstern performs during the qualifying run of the World Cup Ski jumping HS 142 (hill size 142 meters) on November 27, 2008, in Kuusamo-Ruka, Finland. (OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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December 5, 2008 Permalink

2008 Asian Beach Games

About a month ago in Bali, Indonesia, the inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games came to its conclusion. Intended to promote sports and culture, the games (held every two years) encourage tourism, support local economies and allow host countries like Indonesia to present a more global face to the world. The 2008 games brought 6,000 athletes to compete in 71 events in 19 sports. Sports included well-known games like beach volleyball and triathlon, and some sports better known to asians, like sepak takraw, kabaddi and pencak silat. The next Asian Beach Games are scheduled to be hosted by Oman in the year 2010. (25 photos total)

Daiki Masuda of Japan dives out of the water in the swim leg of the men's triathlon on day nine of the 2008 Asian Beach Games at Mertasari Beach on October 26, 2008 in Bali, Indonesia. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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October 20, 2008 Permalink

Air Racing

The Red Bull Air Race, started in 2003, is a series of air races, held all over the world, where pilots fly specialized aerobatic planes (with top speeds of over 250 mph / 400 kph) through a series of gates, racing the clock, accumulating points toward the championship title. Pilots must also perform specific manoeuvres while passing through the gates. The photos below are from the most recent two races, in Budapest, Hungary, and Porto, Portugal. The final race in the series is scheduled for November 1st, in Perth, Australia, and video of the event will also be streamed over the web. (17 photos total)

Spanish pilot Alejandro Maclean in his MXS aircraft performs during a qualification session for the sixth round of the Air Race World Championships on August 19, 2008 over the Danube River of downtown Budapest, Hungary. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
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October 10, 2008 Permalink

The 2008 Australian motorcycle Grand Prix

The sixteenth round of the 2008 Grand Prix motorcycle racing (MotoGP) season was recently held on a track on the southern coast of Australia. The 2008 Australian motorcycle Grand Prix took place on Phillip Island, on the weekend of October 3rd, with several practice sessions earlier. Grand prix motorcycle has three classes, 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP - each with their own standings. Winners at the Phillip Island Circuit this year were France's Mike Di Meglio - 125cc, Italy's Marco Simoncelli - 250cc, and Australia's Casey Stoner in MotoGP. The 2008 Grand Finale will take place in Valencia, Spain on October 26th. (23 photos total)

Casey Stoner of Australia and the Ducati Team turns out of a bend during the Australian MotoGP at the Phillip Island Circuit on October 5, 2008 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
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September 29, 2008 Permalink

The Singapore Grand Prix

Formula One Racing held its 800th race on Sunday in Singapore,with the Singapore Grand Prix - also the first Formula One race held at night. Organizers built, then lined a 5 kilometer track with over 1,600 lamps, said to be four times brighter than those used at football stadiums. Twenty drivers drove 61 laps for a total of 309 kilometers at speeds sometimes approaching 300 kilometers per hour - in a country that once banned the sport, in part for promoting reckless driving. Driver Fernando Alonso of Renault won the race with a time of 1:57:16.304. (25 photos total)

Formula One cars drive around the Marina Bay Street Circuit of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix during the time qualifying session September 27, 2008. The Singapore GP on Sunday will be F1's first night race, the first to be held in the island state and the first on an Asian street circuit. (REUTERS/Tim Chong)
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September 12, 2008 Permalink

2008 Summer Paralympic Games

From September 6th to September 17th, Beijing is once again hosting athletes from around the world. Over 4,200 athletes - from six different disability groups - from 148 countries are taking part in the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games. Not only are the sports divided into events, but the events are divided into different disability categories, to even out the playing field as much as possible. The slogan for this years Paralympic Games is the same as the one for the Olympics held just last month: "One World, One Dream". (36 photos total)

Germany's Marc Schuh pushes to start off in the Men's 400m T54 (spinal cord disability) competition for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games held in Beijing, China, Monday, Sep. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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August 15, 2008 Permalink

Women's Olympic Fencing

Spectators at the fencing competition at the Olympics are often treated to some dramatic, emotional scenes - played out by passionate competitors dressed all in white, hi-tech gear, meeting inside a large darkened stadium. It also makes for some dramatic imagery, which I'll share with you here -- 16 scenes from recent women's fencing matches in Beijing. (16 photos total)

China's Zhang Lei reacts to losing the Women's individual Foil round of 16 match to Italy's Maria Valentina Vezzali (unseen) on August 11, 2008 at the Fencing Hall of National Convention center, as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games. Vezzali won 10-7. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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August 8, 2008 Permalink

2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony

Beijing held its formal opening ceremony today for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The ceremony, held in the National Stadium known as the Bird's Nest, was attended by thousands, and watched by millions more on television. Below are some highlights of the nearly 4-hour performance. (24 photos total)

A dancer performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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August 4, 2008 Permalink

Riding the waves

Riding big waves or small, or riding the wind and catching some air, people across the world have been busy surfing over the past few months - in competitions, as therapy, or just for serious fun. Here, you'll find a collection of images of people recently enjoying the surf in several ways. (23 photos total)

In this handout photo provided by Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) and Covered Images, Andy Irons of the United States of America competes in round two during the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, part of the ASP World Tour at Supertubes on July 11, 2008 in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. (Kelly Cestari/Covered Images/ASP via Getty Images)
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July 28, 2008 Permalink

2008 Tour de France - conclusion

The 2008 Tour de France cycling race is now over, won by Spain's Carlos Sastre, with a time of 87h 52m 52s. Sastre beat second-place finisher Cadel Evans of Australia by only 58 seconds, over a 21 stage course that added up to over 3,500 kilometers (2,175 miles). This entry covers the second half (including mountain stages) of the Tour - for earlier coverage, see part I. (27 photos total)

The breakaway group Niki Terpstra (R) of the Netherlands and team Milram and Florent Brard of France and team Cofidis make their way during stage thirteen of the 2008 Tour de France from Narbonne to Nimes on July 18, 2008 in Narbonne, France. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
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July 21, 2008 Permalink

Beijing 2008 Preparations - Three Weeks to Go

Final preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics are in full swing in Beijing. This includes completing hundreds of construction projects, reconstructions, pollution controls, cultural training, and a general "beautifying" of greater Beijing. Rehearsals and drills take place daily as Chinese citizens hurry to finish up - after all, the whole world is coming soon. The Olympics are set to begin on August 8th. (24 photos total)

Cleaners stand in water as they scrub the exterior of the National Grand Theatre, which has been nicknamed the "egg", in Beijing July 11, 2008. (REUTERS/David Gray)
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July 14, 2008 Permalink

2008 Tour de France

France is currently hosting the 95th Tour de France - which began on July 5th, and continues through July 27th. The Tour is the world's largest cycle race, with twenty teams of nine riders (invitation-only) entered in this year's race. Ten riders have dropped out so far, including one suspension for a doping offense. (18 photos total)

David Millar of Great Britain strains to take a third place during the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 29.5 kilometers (18.3 miles) with start and finish in Cholet, western France, Tuesday July 8, 2008. Stefan Schumacher of Germany won the stage and took over the overall leader's yellow jersey.(AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)
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July 11, 2008 Permalink

Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

Pamplona, Spain is hosting its annual Festival of San Fermin, most famous for its "Running of the Bulls", an 800-meter chaotic dash from corral to bullring through the narrow streets of Pamplona. Once the bulls arrive at the Plaza de Toros, they are again corralled until the afternoon's bullfights (corridas). The festival, started in the sixteenth century, opened this year on July 6th, and more than a dozen participants have been seriously injured so far, with one death (due to a fall from a wall). It will continue until July 14th. (14 photos total)

A "recortador" leaps over a wild bull during an exhibition of riding and acrobatic skills at the bullring on the third day of the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain July 8, 2008. (REUTERS/Eloy Alonso)
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June 30, 2008 Permalink

Records Fall at U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

Two world records were set yesterday in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Michael Phelps broke his own world record in the men's 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:05.25, and Katie Hoff qualified for her second Olympics with her own world record in the women’s 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:31.12. The trials will continue through July 6th. (13 photos total)

Michael Phelps swims to victory in the men's 400-meter individual medley finals at the US Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska, Sunday, June 29, 2008. Phelps set a new world record of 4:05.25 in the event. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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June 25, 2008 Permalink

USA Olympic Diving Trials

Indiana University recently hosted the 2008 USA Diving Olympic Team Trials, and the process of selecting the diving team to represent the United States is underway. (10 photos total)

Troy Dumais twist in midair as he competes in the senior 3M springboard semifinal during the 2008 USA Diving Olympic Team Trials on June 20, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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June 19, 2008 Permalink

2008 NBA Champs - Celtics Rolling Rally

The Boston Celtics took their 2008 NBA trophy on a victory lap through downtown Boston today, a rolling rally in Duck Boats from the TD Banknorth Garden to Copley Square. Their 131-92 win against the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday brought home the 17th championship for the Celtics, the first since 1986. (16 photos total)

Boston Celtics parade to honor the Boston team (David L. Ryan Globe staff photo)
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June 12, 2008 Permalink

Soaked Swiss Soccer

Switzerland met Turkey in their second Euro 2008 Group A match on June 11th in Basel, Switzerland. The skies opened up and poured down as the game continued on, making for dramatic images. Turkey went on to win the match, 2 goals to 1. The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, (Euro 2008) began June 7th and is scheduled to conclude June 29th. (15 photos total)

Imposing dark clouds are pictured over the stadium during the UEFA EURO 2008 Group A match between Switzerland and Turkey at St. Jakob-Park on June 11, 2008 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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June 6, 2008 Permalink

Olympic Preparations

People (and animals) all over China and the rest of the world are preparing in various ways for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, which begins August 8th. (18 photos total)

Minxia Wu of China takes part in the Women's 3m final on the second day of the 2nd FINA Diving World Series in Sheffield , May 25, 2008. Coming three months before the start of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the FINA event will attract the best divers in the world with competitors set to prove their worth to their national teams. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
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