Photographers are a different breed of people. Even though there are all kinds of photographers around the world, one thing they all have in common is that these are folks who find joy in both the most tragic and happiest moments of a person’s life. If we steer away from the world of sports, we can find photographers who do wedding photos, which are supposedly some of the happiest photos you will ever take of someone. At the same time, some photographers do photos at wakes, which we won’t even get into. However, within the realms of sports, these photographers have the perfect means of quenching both their thirst for sadness as well as for happiness. After all, sports competitions are events where you can find both of these extremes. From the heartbroken expression of someone who lost at the last second, to the exhilarated face of someone who has just achieved a goal they set for themselves when they were little kids. You can get all of those during sporting events.
Still, that is not all. Sometimes photographers can get their fill of moments that have nothing to do the competition, these are the embarrassing moments for athletes. These are those hilarious and very awkward pictures photographers take whenever their fingers are quick enough to hit the button to catch a priceless moment of an athlete falling or doing whatever else might be embarrassing for them to see afterward.
With that in mind, we have come up with a little list of 20 awkwardly timed photos of female athletes. Even though you might not know a lot of these athletes, they will be your favorites after we're done.
We get it. Sometimes the competition is just so bad that winning a gold medal is the easiest thing you can do. Training is probably harder than competition for people like this lady. After all, if it was not this easy, why would she be yawning right in the middle of her vault? Seriously, the pole vaulting competition is arguably one of the most competitive events in all of track and field, but this lady seems like she has got it all figured out. Jumping over whatever height that bar was put up to seems to be no trouble for her as she could literally do it while she was sleeping. Please, let us correct ourselves, it was something she did while she was still sleeping. Talk about a great example to start off our list.
19 How Is That Physically Possible?
If you are a man, it is impossible for you to look at this picture and not cringe a little bit. Just imagine trying to stretch your leg that far up. It is impossible. And even if you could do it, there would probably be some serious consequences to areas that you would most likely want to keep private and secure. For women who practice ice-skating, on the other hand, it seems like being flexible to a fault is a trait that they like to show off more often than not.
Seriously, how much do you need to practice in order to be able to do something like this? A person’s body should not bend that way. Or maybe it should, and we are just overthinking about an issue that is not that much of a problem. Either way, we will let you be the judge on that.
Most of the time, when a picture is funny for almost everyone, the only people who do not enjoy that picture are the people who are in it. A perfect example we found of this happened during a women’ soccer game between Sweden and what we imagine is Germany given the color of the jersey number 16 over there is wearing. If you have ever watched a game of soccer you know very well that two players going up to fight for who can get their head to the ball first is a very common occurrence. However, most of the time people come out of these little encounters unscathed, which was not the case in this perfectly timed picture.
Here you can see how much force the head-to-head impact had on the face of that Swedish player, who probably went to the ground after this collision and stayed there for a while.
17 Rowdy Rogan
Joe Rogan has been the voice of the UFC for quite a while, as he's essentially living the dream, as he has long been an avid fan of mixed martial arts. One of the perks of the job is being present at all fighter weigh ins. For one particular weigh-in, Rogan perhaps gave in to a little temptation when his eyes happened to be drawn to Ronda Rousey who was posing for the weigh-in. Well, cameras caught Rogan sneaking a peek and then giving a look of "hmm, pretty good" to the audience. Rogan later poked fun at himself in subsequent interviews, and even turned his head to the ceiling on a few occasions at weigh-ins. Luckily, there were no ill feelings held towards Rogan.
16 Going For The Gold
We just had the Olympics this winter, so we felt it would be appropriate to include at least one photo from the 2018 Pyeongchang games. During the pair skating short program, South Korean skaters Kim Kyueun and Alex Kang Chan Kam were going for their medal about two years after making their debut as a pair. Unfortunately, like many figure skaters usually are, the camera snapped Kyueun at an unflattering moment. Not only that, but from this angle her partner looks like he's about to crash into his own partner. Figure skating is a sport all about grace and while these two certainly showed plenty of that in their performance, not all figure skating photos end up exuding grace. Just comes with the territory we suppose.
15 Win Or Lose
There are two ways you can look at this picture. The first way is to be happy for the lady who has won the fight as this is probably one of the best pictures she will have in her entire career. After all, for a winner, a shot like this is something you dream about, especially in a combat sport. A picture of you on top of your adversary while they are face down on the floor? That’s the dream, the ultimate proof of your dominance.
Meanwhile, we can look at it from the other side, and imagine the kind of pain and sorrow the athlete with her face to the ground must feel every time she looks at this picture. This is just as awkward and embarrassing as it can get.
14 Would You Do It?
We already mentioned how flexible ice skaters must be in order to compete at a high level, but did you know that they also need to be an incredibly courageous bunch? Oh yes, we will talk about gymnasts in a little while, but before we get to that, you should know that both are sports where people need to be brave in order to compete. Much like in gymnastics, ice skaters are people who play with gravity and could even suffer fatal accidents if they are not careful enough.
Take this awkwardly timed picture as a perfect example of when a female ice skater can do nothing but trust her partner with her life. Just imagine what it would be like to be swung in the air like that and eventually thrown. That is a terrifying prospect.
13 Mirror Mirror
Some people are just naturally beautiful. You have probably met one of those folks who are so beautiful that even when they try to be ugly, they look cute. That is not exactly the case with our dear Olympic diver over here. This lady was so focused on not getting any water inside her nostrils as she dove, that she pretty much made the most awkward face we have seen since the Gremlins hit the theaters decades ago.
Describing a face like this is hard. You could come up with mock illustrations of aliens that would look prettier than this athlete. Now we just can’t help but wonder what her face usually looks like. There is no way it is even close to being as bad as it is in this picture.
12 Real Pain
Out of all the sports where you can fall, we can confidently say that ice-skating has to be the one where a fall hurts the most, proportionately. We say proportionately because if you are someone who competes in the pole vault event in track and field, a fall from as high as those people get could be quite deadly if they miss their spot. That being said, if all the heights were the same, we would say that hard ground has nothing on the hard ice. If you ever fell on ice, you know that it hurts a lot.
This lady is someone who learned first-hand and face-first that the ice is not a place where you want to put your face. Ouch, this must have hurt so bad that we don’t even want to imagine it. Not only the pain, but the burn from your face hitting the ice has to be the worst.
11 Synchronized Swimming Problems
Synchronized swimming has to be one of the toughest sports out there. You already have to be graceful enough on your own, but to do that while in sync with another person has to be a nearly impossible task. Nevertheless, these ladies do it every day. Just imagine the kind of work they put into rehearsing and polishing their moves so they can look exactly like each other when the time for competition comes around.
Now, sometimes those moves can seem weird to say the least if you are someone looking at it from the outside, especially when you see a picture taken without having a grasp of their entire routine. For example, in this picture, it just looks like these two are fighting inside a pool while pulling each other’s hair.
10 Perfect Landing
This might not be as painful as falling on ice, but it has to be a different experience of its own. Long jumpers are a different breed of athletes even within the realm of track and field. If you came up to a random person and told them they could make a lot of money and become famous if they learned how to run fast and jump far into a sandbox, most people probably jump (no pun intended) right at the opportunity.
Either way, this is one of those sports where you need both technique and natural talent. Some people can jump farther than others, that is just a fact of life that everyone has to live with. At the same time, we can’t help but imagine that these people have to learn how to fall in the sandbox, or every jump would be as painful as it looks on this picture.
9 The Best Of Both Worlds
As we just mentioned, long jumping has to be one of the toughest events to learn in track and field, but some people just don’t care about it. Do you still remember the first entry on our list? That one lady from the pole vault competition who seemed like she could do no wrong and that her adversaries were so bad that she could win her event even while sleeping?
Well, this Spanish long jumper is giving us the same look and the same vibe with the face she made on this picture. Although we have to admit that this could go both ways. It could be that she has already won the competition and doesn’t really care about it, or the most probable answer is that her jump was not as good as she wanted it to be. Either way, it looks funny.
8 Stretching Exercise
Being a gymnastics coach has to be one of the best jobs in the world. All you have to do is order people around and, from time to time, say you are helping one of your athletes with “stretching,” when you are actually just tired and want a new bench to sit on. This coach has to be one of the funniest guys out there because he is making it seem like this is a common occurrence. If anyone out there has done gymnastics, please let us know if this is something usual when the athletes are stretching. Just in case you haven’t realized it yet, this guy is sitting on an athlete who is stretching.
Perhaps the worst part here is that it doesn’t seem like he is pulling his weight either since he looks way too comfortable for someone squatting.
7 Wait, What?
Since we were already talking about gymnastics, we might as well stick with it for a little bit. You saw how the stretching exercises for some gymnasts work, so now we should probably show you what the results of those exercises are. As you can probably imagine, flexibility is one of the key components of gymnastics, and it is impossible for someone to be a good gymnast without being flexible. That explains all the stretching and weird exercises some coaches come up with from time to time.
However, being flexible means that you can bend your body in ways that it probably shouldn’t. A perfect example was this picture taken at a time when it literally seemed like this athlete did not have a head. Or much worse, when it seemed like she had a foot where her head should’ve been.
Another aspect that seems to be inherent to gymnastics is a danger. It doesn’t matter how well-trained you are. If you are flipping through the air time and time again, and there is nothing but the hard ground under you, there is always going to be a danger. Proof of that is that more often than not, gymnasts face serious injuries because of how some of their falls do not end up as they were planned. Luckily, there are not many fatal accidents, but the pain is something that these athletes must deal with day in and day out.
That being said, the moment when you realize that a jump might not turn out as well as you practiced it, can be a humbling and yet terrifying experience. Take this lady as an example. It might all work out in the end, but for now, it seems like she is terrified of failing.
5 Last For Gymnastics
Do you know how some people say that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life? This lady knows exactly what the person who first said that was talking about. After all, there is no other plausible explanation for her kissing the balance beam as passionately as she is. This is like a basketball player kissing a basketball before he shoots a free-throw, or a golfer kissing the golf ball before a crucial putt.
This is the perfect example of someone who loves what she does. Or maybe, just maybe, she went a little bit farther than she wanted on her last jump and ended up getting her lips on a place she didn’t want them to be at all. Let’s just remind everyone that the balance beam is where the ladies put their feet on. Probably not the best kissing spot.
4 Did You See That?
Guess who needs to schedule a new visit to the eye doctor? Wow, sorry, that one was harsh. Still, it was warranted. This is arguably one of the funniest awkward picture we have seen so far. Of course, the reality here is that she is probably warming up and is not even looking at the ball right next to her. In other words, she probably already hit another ball, and the one in the picture has to do with the warm-up of some other player.
Either way, it could be true that she has literally missed that ball by a foot if she was aiming for it. Perhaps the answer here would be one of those Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kind of glasses that stick to your face because hers are definitely not getting the job done.
3 Doing Your Job
If you follow handball, you know that this is one picture that you could see time and time again if photographers were focusing on the goalkeepers all the time. However, if you are not familiar with handball, this is arguably one of the funniest pictures you have seen today. We don’t even know how to start describing this image because that lady looks like she could be doing a number of different things. She could be at a game show where she had to catch a bunch of objects that were being thrown at her, which would make sense since she is trying to cover as wide an area as she can.
It could also be that she is trying to do a Spider-Man cosplay and is mimicking going up the wall like a spider. Either way, this is about as funny as perfectly timed pictures get.
Well, it is official. The sport with the funniest facial expressions is synchronized swimming. We know that the whole thing is a performance and that the athletes who take part in these competitions have to know a little bit about acting so they can showcase the emotions they want the judges to feel during their performances. At the same time, some of the faces these ladies make are just weird. Take this for example. Have you ever seen someone look as surprised as these two synchronized swimmers look at whatever they have just seen in the water?
This is just bad acting, ladies. Let’s all take an improv class and get better at the acting side of things, shall we? Although, if these were real emotions, they must have seen something like a shark inside that pool.
1 Real Fear
Fear is one of the most natural emotions a human being can experience. However, we have a hard time believing most folks have experienced the kind of fear this woman is portraying as that volleyball is inching ever closer to her face. This is like that moment in a movie when everything goes into slow motion, and a person realizes they are getting shot or punched, and start fearing the blow before it even happens.
We talked about how some athletes are bad actors, and this is what they should look at if they are trying to find inspiration for what real emotions look like. If you can mimic the fear on this face, you are halfway done towards becoming a good actor or actress. We just wish they had a picture after the ball hit her face. That had to be funny as well.