1 of 27: Dad Protects Son
It’s not surprising this photo of Shaun Cunningham and his son at a baseball game went viral a while ago. As a bat flew out of the hands of Pittsburgh outfielder Danny Ortiz and towards them, Cunningham instinctively thrust out his arm, deflecting its trajectory and preventing his son from being clobbered in the face. His son, who was busy texting, looked up to see his father’s arm between him and the flying bat.
2 of 27: A Flexible Feat
The flexibility of gymnasts and figure skaters is legendary. This beautiful figure skater provides a moment for a rather bizarre looking photo, as she bends her head right back in a demonstration of her flexibility. The expression on her face as she performs this feat is almost one of surprise, as her skates face forward on the frozen ice and her head faces the other way.
3 of 27: Watch out!
Take a good look over the right shoulder of the girl in the photo. It’s a bad move to take a selfie at a baseball park while facing away from the field. You probably want to shout a warning to her right now as if it will make her realize what’s heading towards her. That smile could be wiped off her face in a few seconds.
4 of 27: Stare that ball down!
Staring down a table tennis ball before hitting it seems to be an essential part of the game of table tennis. This player’s bent arms and bent right hand with spread fingers, make him look almost frog-like as he concentrates before pouncing on the ball. His determined expression convinces you that he will manage to whack that ball back over the net.
5 of 27: Dance with a ball
When it’s well played, soccer is said to be like a dance with a ball. Rigor, precision, elegance, and talent are all words that can be used to describe soccer and dance moves. The soccer players in this photo, however, dance more like a pair of flying jumping jacks as they vie for the ball. This is a dance of widespread arms and legs and comical facial expressions.
6 of 27: Bull Throws Rider
This bull rider is obviously no stranger to concussions and close encounters with dirt. His face shows expectation of the pain to come. The bull looks on complacently as the rider heads down to the dirt, with his hat still on his head and his boots in the air. We can’t help hoping he’ll be able to get his hand down first so that he doesn’t land directly on his head
7 of 27: Tough Female Wrestlers
If you thought ‘you hit like a girl’ was an insult, this photo makes it look like a compliment. The expression of the UFC fighter in the grip of the other woman says it all. She appears to be in agony as she takes a blow to the side of her face. She looks as though she’s just been given a serious neck adjustment.
8 of 27: Mirror Image
This powerfully built guy on his wakeboard looks into the eyes of his mirror image, perfectly formed in the clear water. It’s a perfect symphony of icy blues and whites, down to his gear and his board. The arc of crystal water surging over his head forms a great backdrop to what appears to be two brawny men about to collide.
9 of 27: Tie up that hair!
There’s a reason why people who compete in sports make sure their hair is tied up and out of the way. They don’t want it to interfere with their performance and get caught in their equipment. This woman is still intensely focused on lifting that barbell, despite the fact that she probably can’t see a thing through the tangle of hair over her face.
10 of 27: Put It, Don’t Throw It
The first events that were like the shotput we know today probably took place in competitions in the Middle Ages when soldiers threw cannonballs. A key factor in this Olympian sport is that the shot has to be put, not thrown. To make sure of this, shot putters keep the ball close to the chin in all movements before it is released. Here we have a photo that captures the essence of this centuries-old sport.
11 of 27: Eyes Askance
In this photo, the baseball player’s eyes are apprehensively focused on an oncoming ball. One can’t help wondering what he’s thinking as the ball hurtles towards him. It’s so close to his head you know it’s about to smack him in the face – something that could be very painful indeed when it’s approaching at such a speed.
12 of 27: Don’t Mess with a Bull
Bullfighting is a tradition in Spain, and the annual running of the bulls in Pamplona attracts millions of tourists. People race along the street for about half a mile towards the bullring. Dozens of people are injured every year, mostly by being trampled by the bulls. The fellow in this photo looks like he got more than he bargained for as he lies stomach down on the ground with the bull’s head over his rear end.
13 of 27: Hovering Superman Style
Dennis Rodham appears to hover above the basketball court as he reaches for this ball. One can’t help imagining what happened directly after this photograph. Did he come down hard on that unforgiving floor? Or did he manage to come out of his flying superman move by protecting himself in some extraordinary way?
14 of 27: Baseball Bat Magic
Alex Rodriques, former Yankee, is known for his prowess with a baseball bat. In this photo, he seems to be making the bat hover in the air well away from either of his outstretched arms. Rodriques retired from the game just four home runs shy of 700. Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth are the only players to have topped him on the all-time home run list.
15 of 27: A Startling Scissor Kick
Christiano Ronaldo has some impressive skills, including his famous scissor kick. In this photo, his right leg points straight up in the air with his body parallel to the ground. It’s no wonder his opponent felt he had to shield his face – he was not quite sure where those flying legs were going.
16 of 27: A Broken Bat
This Yankees baseball player looks as though he can’t quite believe what’s happened here. You don’t expect a baseball bat to break unless your bat is not up to much and you’ve hit the ball extremely hard. Taking a bat to the face is no joke.
17 of 27: Bite that Hand!
In the wrestling ring, competitors may come up with some weird and wonderful moves in a bid to win a match. While it may appear in this photo that the Japanese wrestler is about to bite down on that hand, one may ask what the Canadian wrestler’s fingers are doing in his mouth. Who is likely to be the victor here?
18 of 27: Where’s her head?
Have you ever seen a gymnast without a head? In this photo taken during a rhythmic gymnastics competition, it looks as though gymnast, Katherine Coronel, has a foot in place of a head. It shows just what kind of amazing bodily contortions are possible from the Venezuelan gymnast.
19 of 27: A Bad Pitch
The ball in this photo appears to be positioned rather uncomfortably between the batsman’s chin and his shoulder. He has no possible chance of hitting it, thanks to a bad pitch by the pitcher. Hitting the ball with his face is not an option and hitting the ball with the bat and collecting his face in the process is ill-advised too.
20 of 27: Heads and Butts
Many different wrestling moves are used to immobilize opponents or cause them to submit, but you don’t want to be on the wrong end of this one. The wrestler in blue appears to have his head up the butt of the wrestler in red. Fortunately, it is an optical illusion, and although we can’t see his head, it’s not where we think it is.
21 of 27: Water Tension
This is another great photo showing a swimmer and water tension. Arthur Fan nearly drowned twice as a child, but he went on to conquer his fear of water and become a champion swimmer. In this photo, he looks like a walrus wearing a plastic cap and glasses as he technically surfaces but hasn’t yet broken the surface tension of the water.
22 of 27: A Kick in the Face
Daryl Janmaat of the Netherlands was literally kicked in the face during a soccer game. This happened during the 214 World Cup qualifying match in Amsterdam when Turkey’s Arda Turan took a kick and his boot connected with Janmaat’s face instead of the ball. In the photo, another member of the Turkish team looks horrified as he sees boot and face connect.
23 of 27: Another Side of Beach Volleyball
Beach volleyball may be a fun sport, but it can be hard work being a pro beach volleyball player. Think about all those hours spent in the sun and the toll that can take on the body. Look at the face of this player as the ball, and her face are about to connect. She looks like she’s having the opposite of good fun.
24 of 27: Trouble for Skating Partners
Did this ice skater’s partner really let her go, allowing her to face plant on the ice? Even though her flexibility probably prevented worse damage, she’s not likely to feel too kindly towards him. The unfortunate look on her partner’s face adds insult to injury. Could this spell trouble for the future of their skating relationship?
25 of 27: A Good Spanking
In this photo, it looks exactly as if one angry cricket player is gathering his strength and is about to lay into another player with his bat. The player crouched on the floor seems to be bracing himself for a spanking. But what’s really happening in this photo? That’s something we can only speculate about, but it’s not likely to be spanking.
26 of 27: A Rugby Ball in the Face
Sometimes rugby players may feel as though they should wear helmets. It certainly would have helped this rugby player to avoid a close encounter between his face and a flying rugby ball. The ball catches him right on the nose and with the speed at which rugby balls usually move, it’s very possible his nose might be broken. From his agonized expression, he certainly seems to be in pain.
27 of 27: Surfer Spills
Surfers are tough guys. They are used to coming off their surfboards and feeling the pressure of some serious waves. This surfer’s board goes flying, and he disappears head first into a wave.