Twice a summer, the Tuscan city of Siena hosts the world's oldest horse race – Il Palio. The red-bricked Piazza del Campo is ringed with a track of dirt and volcanic ash in preparation for the bare-backed horses who will vie to be the first to circle the square three times, with or without their jockeys. Its mix of micro-political intrigue, Machiavellian sporting gambits, and the transitory blessings of the Virgin Mary makes this competition unlike any other in the world. Photographs by Alessandro Simonetti. Words by Bud Schmeling.
Ubiquitous on yoga studio walls, the pose chart usually features a single yogi displaying his posture mastery. The USA Yoga Asana Championship offered a more diverse vision of precision, as male and female practitioners vied for national titles. In between their public performances, Kai Regan photographed elite competitors in their favorite postures, capturing both still and moving records of a more personal perfection.
The icon and the man were always wrapped around one another. Muhammad Ali's public persona was designed to sell tickets, but as revealed by photographer Thomas Hoepker, the private truth was more complex. Hoepker's images of the champ from 1966 and 1970, along with his commentary, offer a full portrait of last century’s quintessential athletic hero.
Deep in the heart of Lone Star, Friday night’s gridiron lights burn brightly—even amid the quietude of desolate places. It was for these communities that six-man football was created, towns too small for eleven-on-eleven. Filmmaker Nicholas Strini followed two teams fighting to experience the glory of “State,” and the chance to make history. Size is secondary.
El Duque “La Gran Fuga”
Or, “The Great Escape!” The amazing rise and fall and rise of pitcher Orlando Hernandez, his daring night-flight from Cuba, and how a castaway became a national hero and World Series MVP. Text by Brin-Jonathan Butler and illustrations by Mickey Duzyj.
Jimmy Snuka “Superfly”
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka grew up a Fijian prince, only to leave paradise for the shores of the Western markets. Later in life, the 1980s, when Jimmy was one of America’s greatest professional wrestlers, his regal qualities continued to shine through: power and grace, humility and majesty. Towards the conclusion of his ring battles, the character Superfly would float through the air with the greatest of ease, to pile-drive his opponents into total submission. Directed by Anthony Blasko