Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers made his first Olympic appearance in Beijing, helping team USA to the gold medal. The 2008 NBA MVP, 29, has said that winning a gold medal would be more important than the NBA title. "When you put on a USA uniform, you're playing for something bigger than all that," he said. "You're representing your country, and our country is going up against the other country, trying to prove who's best. For me, that holds more weight."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Archer Khatuna Lorig competed for Team USA in Beijing but has represented two other countries in past Olympics: Russia in 1992 (where she won bronze in the team competition) and Georgia in 1996 and 2000. Lorig, 34, immigrated to the U.S. after the 2000 Sydney Olympics and missed the 2004 Athens competitions because she had not received her U.S. citizenship. Now a fully fledged citizen, she'll return to Games under the U.S.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Julie Ertel, 35, of Placentia has a medal from the 2000 Games, where she helped the U.S. women's water polo team take home the silver. In her second Olympics -- Ertel competed in the triathlon but came away without a medal.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times

Kimberly Rhode, 29, of El Monte competed in women's skeet shooting and took home the silver medal. With two gold medals (2004, '06) and a bronze (2000) under her belt, she took home her fourth Olympic medal at Beijing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

U.S. men's water polo team captain Tony Azevedo, 26, returned to compete in his second Olympics in Beijing and helped Team USA take home the silver medal. In the 2004 Athens Games, the Long Beach native led the U.S. squad with 15 goals.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Bob Malaythong, left, of Rockville, Md., and partner Howard Bach, of San Francisco took their shot a badminton gold. On the Beijing Olympics, Bach tells USA Today: "Badminton in Beijing is huge Ñ it's one of their top three sports....The challenges that we face as athletes here is exposure. Having sponsors ... helps put us in the spotlight because we normally don't get attention. But in Beijing it's different because it's popular there."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times

Diving champion Troy Dumais, 28, of Ventura made his third trip to the Olympics in Beijing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Sprinter Allyson Felix of Los Angeles won the silver medal in the Women's 200m and helped Team USA win the gold medal in the Women's 4x400m relay at Beijing. The USC graduate has drawn praise for volunteering to participate in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency program, in which athletes in the 2008 games were subjected to an extraordinary number of drug tests to prove they were clean.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Brenda Villa was the captain of the 2008 women's water polo team that won the silver medal. To her coach, she was the "Wayne Gretzky of women's water polo."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times

La Jolla native Carrie Johnson competed in the women's 500-meter single-kayak race in Beijing. It was her second Olympics.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times

Mike Day of Santa Clarita was the first athlete of three to capture a spot on the U.S. BMX Olympic team. He won the sliver medal in Men's BMX in Beijing, which was the Olympic debut for Day and bicycle motorcross.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times / Los Angeles Times

More galleries on Framework

return to gallery

Team USA: Portraits of Olympic dreams

Pictures in the News | May 15, 2013

Wednesday's Pictures in the News begins in Los Angeles as hockey referee Lonnie Cameron tries to avoid a collision with Kings center Trevor Lewis and two San Jose Sharks players...   View Post»


Team USA: Portraits of Olympic dreams

2012 London Olympics | Day 8

Photo highlights from London 2012 Olympic Games Day 8. This gallery will be updated throughout the day.   View Post»


Rivals: UCLA and USC

Crosstown rivals UCLA and USC

The rivalry between USC and UCLA has been ramping up in anticipation of their annual football game Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum. USC students wrapped Tommy Trojan in...   View Post»


West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval

2011 West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval

Hundreds of thousands of Halloween revelers flocked to Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood for the 2011 West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval, billed as one of the...   View Post»

Team USA: Portraits of Olympic dreams

About the photographs:
Polaroid film was introduced to the world in 1948 by Edwin Land.  Production of the film ceased in 2008, ending an era, sixty years after Polaroid introduced its first instant camera. Although digital photography has replaced most traditional methods, the opportunity to work with film, producing one-of-a-kind imagery that cannot be made with a motor drive camera, offers a creative challenge that many photographers will miss once the stockpile of Polaroid film is gone. Los Angeles Times photographer Jay L. Clendenin used a Zone VI, 4-by-5-inch field camera to produce this collection of images of 11 local athletes headed to Beijing to compete in
the 2008 Summer Olympics. A tripod and a dark cloth draped over the photographer’s head are used to help achieve sharp focus. It’s a slower process than working digitally, but most subjects don’t mind, because they recognize the creative process involved with the unique (and dying) art form.

No comments yet

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published