Legends Online
Heinz Kluetmeier

Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympics, Albertville, 1992


   Interestingly, Kluetmeier also draws both comparisons and inspiration from two seemingly unlikely sources: ballet and the circus.

"There are moments and images in photographing sports that are perfect replications of ballet," he explains. "In the peak moment of a couple of guys going out for a pass - what's the difference of that versus the Bolshoi? The same skills, the same incredible athleticism and beauty - and a moment." And though he says he hasn't yet photographed the ballet, he would very much like to. "It's an uncanny analogy to what happens out there in the world of sports."

One other subject he can speak about with expertise, however, is his other analogy: the circus. As a photographer for the Ringling Brothers Circus, he has spent hundreds of hours using the skills he has honed as a sports photographer.

"It's a perfect analogy also," he says, "except the images are much different. And, of course, if I blow a shot, I know it's going to happen again the following evening and I can photograph it again."

Another similarity between athletes and the circus performers, he says, is that both make their feats seem so simple.

"They make very difficult things look very easy...You have to admire these guys who train and work just as hard as the best athletes in the world. And they perform seven, eight, nine times a week."

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Ringling Brothers Circus

Ringling Brothers Circus

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