Sports

Priceless Photos of Athletes In Action That Are Timed to Perfection

In the fast-paced world of sports photography, timing is everything. So, just as athletes push their bodies to the limits to perfect their winning performance, sports photographers go to great lengths to capture that winning mid-action shot.

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Image: Christy Ann Linder

From moments of disaster and awkwardness to moments of sheer sports perfection and joy, these photographers are there to catch every action-packed moment to the last millisecond. So, check out this impressive collection of the most awkward, hilarious, inexplainable and priceless mid-action snapshots of these athletes we’ve ever seen.

Super Human Powers

We know that professional athletes have to push their bodies through intense training to enter a professional competition, but this otherworldly position just doesn’t seem humanly possible. This is especially confusing for us non-athletes who find it difficult to skate around the rink on two feet.

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Image: EBaumsworld

Not only can this young athlete, Tam Zamanında Cekilmişl balance on one blade on the ice, but she also managed to hold her entire leg up straight in the air with poise and grace, while spinning on one leg. We’re just glad the photographer was able to capture this moment of pure superhuman perfection.

Nope, Not Today

While the professional baseball player Alex Rodriguiz has enjoyed a long and prolific career with the New York Yankees, not every day has to be his best one. Some days, you just have to take it on the chin and accept that today is not your winning day.

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Image: The Guardian

We have to give Alex credit for giving it all he has, but every so often athletes can have an off day. So while not let it all go in style and throw your bat in the air like you just don’t care. It actually reminds us that on some very rare occasions, professional athletes are also human, just like us.

Opposite World’s Colliding

Off the court, these athletes would probably never have crossed paths. But the great thing about sports is that it brings people from opposing cultures together. Still, the most hilarious thing about this winning shot, is that these athletes seem to be completely oblivious of eachother’s glaring differences.

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Image: Womany

Clearly, in the world of sports, anything goes. But talk about a complete culture shock. As the athlete from Egypt in the front is dressed modestly and wearing a hijab, she’s so focused on the game that she doesn’t seem to mind that the girls on the opposing team are showing as much skin as possible. And that’s exactly the spirit of the game.

A Bittersweet Slam Dunk

While sports games are all about victories, sometimes winning can have its downsides. When this professional NBA player battled through the court to lead his team to victory with a game-changing slam dunk, he probably thought his work was done. Until that happened!

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Image: Bleacher Report

They do say that what goes up must come down. But we’re sure he didn’t expect that ball to come tumbling through the net, smacking him in the eye and ricocheting straight through his entire face. We’re glad this photographer managed to capture this magnificent mid-action shot, but we hope he managed to shake it off with time!

Flexing To The Max

We know, we did have to stare at this hair-raising photo for a good few minutes before we worked out what happened here. It really does look like this is just an eerie photo of a mannequin or a floating gymnast’s body and she seems to have misplaced her head.

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Image: Herald Weekly

After many minutes of studying this snap, we realized the key is all about the angle. If you look a little closer, you’ll see that the round circle is just a badge on her suit. This gymnast is so talented that she managed to flex her head back to the max, and the photographer managed to capture the wondrous moment for the world.

Just Ouch…

When soccer player, Marouane Fellaini signed up to play for Manchester United, he was probably expecting to live the high-life, filled with glamor and glitz. But as we know too well, the life of a sports star on the pitch is anything but glamorous. It’s also full of unexpected highs and lows.

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Image: The Sun

Still, nothing could have prepared Marouane or any of us for this shocking turn of events. As he ball flew straight to his face, it managed to ricochet through his entire being, throwing his entire face out of shape. As the photographer managed to catch the aftermath in this majestic shot, we just hope his team won so the pain was worth it!

An Epic Photobomb

When Sun Sports reporter Kelly Nash went to the stadium to report at a baseball match, she did what any millennial news reporter would do in her position. She whipped out her smartphone to take a prized selfie for all her seasoned followers.

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Image: CBS News

Little did she know that this harmless selfie would turn out to be way more dangerous than we could have ever imagined. We just glad that she managed to snap the priceless shot, seconds before the baseball flew smack into the back of her head to make a home-run. Well, we suppose that’s one way to make yourself insta-famous.

Matrix Volley Ball

It might look like these volleyball players didn’t quite get the memo about how a volleyball game works, but this is actually a spin-off volleyball match. The game is known as sepak takraw or kick volleyball and is native to South East Asia. The rules are that players are only allowed to touch the ball with their feet, knees, head or chest.

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Image: BBC News

While this does sound confusing and difficult in itself, this game makes for some spectacular displays as players really have to bend their bodies to the max. In this snap, it looks like the players are re-enacting some kind of levitating, martial arts kick sequence from the Matrix movie.

Holy Moly

As we’ve seen by now, many professional athletes are much more flexible than us mere mortals, but this pro baseball player seems to have perfected the art of the backward helicopter arm. We never knew that this was a real thing until now, but it turns out it is.

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Image: Teddy Feed

Thanks to this player’s otherworldly abilities, we’re sure he’s already proved his might to the opposing team. If they weren’t already impressed that he can swings his arm back 180 degrees the wrong way, we sure wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that mighty throw.

The Look of Fear

Now we know professional gymnasts have to be fearless and take plenty of risks in the name of the sport, but usually, we don’t realize how much concentration it takes to execute each leap and jump. Well, from the look on this gymnasts face, we can almost feel the terror overpowering her soul.

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Image: Pop Buzz

In this magnificently timed shot, we get to see a real insight into what is going through this gymnast’s mind as she leaps across the beam. As the sense of drama and fear overpowers her, it does look pretty comical to us outsiders. Did she just realize she forgot something, is she just being dramatic or is this just how gymnasts roll?

The Ripple Effect

On the spectrum of dangerous sports, we knew that heavyweight boxing is pretty risky and you have to be prepared for a few blows. But some heavyweights, like Romania’s Lucian Bute and Jamaica’s Glen Johnson, take this concept to the next level of facial disfigurement.

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Image: I B Times

While these heavyweights were clearly pumped with adrenaline as the crowd roared, we’re guessing that Bute didn’t realize how powerful that knockout shot would be. As the impact rippled through Johnson’s soul, he managed to twist and distort his face like playdough. And this is just another reason to watch this sport from afar!

Taking it on the Chin

We’ve all heard the phrase, “taking it on the chin,” especially when life deals you a few blows. But this spectacularly-timed snap taken of pro baseball star, Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers’ takes this concept to a whole new level of extra.

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Image: Bleacher Report

As Rickie tried his best to defensively position his bat across his upper body, he thought he had it all covered. But as we’ve learned by now, sports are full of unexpected surprises. And every so often those surprises come in the shape of baseballs flying straight towards your jaw. Let’s just hope he managed to “take it on the chin” after that pain finally subsided.

Falling From Grace

For professional figure skaters, they really know how to style out each spin, lift, and jump with spectacular elegance and poise. While many many figure skating duos master the art of wow-worthy spins, this unfortunate pair seem to have mastered the art of spectacularly impressive falls.

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Image: Buzzativ

Yes, this dancing duo didn’t just fall on to the ice, they tumbled face-first straight on to it in the most spectacularly dramatic possible way. As the trigger-happy photographer managed to capture this monumental tumble, we just wish they could get extra credits for styling it out with a bang.

Mad Skills

While many super cool wakeboarders like to impress the crowds with their impeccable strength and mad balancing skills, this seasoned wakeboarder wasn’t just content with balancing upright on two feet against the force of the waves like a normal human.

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Image: Teddyfeed

Nope, this super-rad sportsman is clearly not afraid to push his body to the max with this gravity-defying stunt. He didn’t just lean forward into the water, he’s actually parallel to it and can see his body reflected back from the water in perfect symmetry. We just hope he won a prize too.

A Cartoon Pufferfish

When we first stumbled on this snap, we had to wonder whether the Olympic athlete, Ryan Crouser was another unfortunate victim of being smacked in the face by a metal ball. But appearances can be deceiving. This is actually just how he manages to throw the metal ball through the air.

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Image: Funny Junk

With his face inflated like a cartoon pufferfish, his eyes in different directions and his mouth open like a suction pad, we did have to wonder if it was all worth it. Until thankfully, we discovered that Ryan broke an Olympic record that day and earned a Shot Put gold medal in Rio in 2016.

Super Mom to the Rescue

As it turns out, not all superheroes wear capes. We know that many moms manage to amaze us with their multi-tasking talents, and the ability to be over-prepared for any situation. But this super mom, Tiffany Goodwini, seems to have some kind of supernatural powers.

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Image: CBS News

This supermom was so over-prepared that she even wore her baseball glove to the game. And then when she saw the ball flying towards the crowd, instead of being content with guarding her baby, she grabbed her chance to show her lightning-fast skills and catch the ball one-handed. To be honest, we’re still taking it all in.

A Slam Dunk To Remember

We know that NBA basketball is a competitive sport, but this athletic duo were prepared to battle it out until the last man standing. Or at least the last man jumping or diving. So as one player leaped into the air like Spiderman to take his winning shot, he wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

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Image: NBC News

As soon as the opposing player saw what was happening, his instincts kicked in and he decided to take one for the team. So he performed some kind of gravity-defying backward leap into the air to stop the player from scoring a slam dunk. And this looks like another sequence from a superhero movie.

Swinging into Action

When this New York Yankees player’s coach told him to get back in the game and really swing into action, it seems that he took it a little more literally than anyone could have imagined. Seriously, those bats are made for high-performance wear.

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Image: Daily Stuff

When this brawny player summoned all the strength and arm power he could muster, he probably that power would be used to swing the ball as far as he possibly could. But alas, his plan majorly backfired. Not only did the bat cracked in half, but it then swung back to hit him right across his face. Just ouch!

Spider Arms

Now we’ve joked already that some of these athletes have superhuman strength, but this West Brom player Saido Berahino, seems to have his own secret weapon. Somehow, over the course of the soccer match, Saido managed to grow two extra arms.

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Image: Appollo

Some might say Saido looks a little radioactive, it was only when we studied this photo a little more closely that we worked out what was happening. While the striker had his arms outstretched, a player from the opposing team had the exact same idea and stood exactly behind him with his arms outstretched. And from that angle, two really became one.

Lean Back

We’ve all heard the crowd-pleasing tune, “Lean Back,” but this high-jumper took her back-bending abilities to the next level of extra. As she leaped higher than most of us could ever wish to jump, she managed to flex all the muscles in her body to lean over at not touch the bar.

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Image: Pinterest / Sports Photography

In this suberbly-timed shot, the photographer has captured just how impressively flexible this athlete really is. We had no idea that high-jumpers had to lean their head backs to touch their toes to perform this kind of crowd-pleasing show. We suppose this is why it’s an Olympic sport.

A Swimmer Was Born

We know that everything seems a little different underwater, but we did have to wonder what kind of extra-terrestrial creature was lying on its back wearing a swimming cap. After a few double takes, we soon realized what was going on here.

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Image: Daily Mail

As it turns out, this is a professional American swimmer and the magnificently-timed photo was taken just as his head was emerging from the water. We have to admit, from this angle it looks like the swimmer is being re-born underwater, but we’ll go with the logical explanation.

When the Audience Reaches Fever Pitch

When your a seasoned baseball fan, you have to expect a few foul balls to fly through the air every once in a while. But understandably, as the ball flew straight into the crowd, this has to be the most emotionally-charged crowd photo in gaming history.

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Image: Boston Globe

As the tensions in the crowd reached fever pitch, the crowd is filled with every kind of dramatic reaction you can imagine. While some are terrified, others are shocked, excited, dazed and confused. A few bought their trusty baseball glove for he winning catch, but we have to give kudos to the fan on the left with his arms outstretched in completely the wrong direction!

Gasping For Some Air

Much like the board game Twister, during a professional wrestling match, you can expect to find yourself in some questionable and compromising positions. We suppose all’s fair in love and sport, but what if you need to pause for a second for some air.

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Image: Goodreads

These wrestlers really have got themselves into a tricky scenario, and the athlete in the red doesn’t seem to mind that he’s laying with his crown jewels over his opponents’ face. As they are both locked in a pretty compromising deadlock, we’re glad the photographer managed to capture this superbly-timed photo as the player emerged for some air.

The Butt End of the Joke

As we move from one embarrassing sporting fail to the next, here is some cricketing action. Just like most sportsmen, cricket players are known for giving it their all. But they usually manage to do stay a little more poised than this.

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Image: Teddy Feed

Whether the pitch was slippy, or these two managed to slide together by chance, once player clearly ended up as the butt end of the joke. As he made a dive for it, he landed with his head directly into the other players’ butt. And the winning shot was spectacular.

One Super Long Swimmer

In this perfectly-timed photo, it really does look like this female swimmer has a winning head start over her opponents. That’s because she seems to have the longest body and legs we’ve ever seen before. Is she just super tall or this there more to this photo than meets the eye?

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Image: Pixa News

As it turns out, we were right to question this trippy photo. We soon learned that this is, in fact, two synchronized swimming stars standing one in front of the other, not one. This is yet another example of the incredible power of taking the perfect photo at just the right angle.

The Dive Bomb Face Squeeze

When you see swimmers dive bombing or canon balling straight into a pool from great heights, it might look like the most fun and fearless activity on earth. But as we now know, to complete the perfect cannonball, it requires concentration, determination, and precision-timing,

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Image: List 25

So, understandably, many of these enthusiastic young athletes take their diving pretty seriously. Some, like this young girl, are so focused on winning, that she didn’t even seem to mind or care that she made the most hilarious expression as she squeezed her face together. Let’s just hope she made a big splash and landed on target.

A Knockout Punch

In soccer, goalkeepers have to do anything in their power to stop the opposing team from getting the ball into the net. But David De Gea of Manchester United took this concept to a whole new level. It’s hard to see with your eyes closed, but this goalie seemed to have confused the soccer ball with an actual, real-life face.

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Image: Football Scotland

This picture is even more wow-worthy, as he happened to punch straight into the face of Vincent Kompany of Manchester City. We know that both Manchester teams have had a long-standing rivalry with each other, which is why this superbly-timed punch is even more hilarious for his teammate, Vidic.

Just How…

They do say that truth is stranger than fiction. But these athletes never cease to amaze us with their ability to morph into any position. This magnificently-timed photo was captured at the 1991 World Series, just after Greg Olson, a catcher from the Atlanta Braves tagged out Dan Gladden.

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Image: Twins Trivia

Now we’re still not sure why, or how, or what exactly was going through Greg Olson’s head at the time. But in that monumental moment, he ended upended, while his helmet flew off into the distance. As the photographer was there to frame this moment in sporting history, we just hope he landed again safely on two feet.

Not Today

Julien R. Leparoux is an Eclipse Award-winning jockey and seems to know a good few things about horses. However, just as human athletes are unpredictable, it seems like their animal companions are just like us. Even though this thoroughbred stallion was in the middle of an important race, he didn’t seem to care.  

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Image: NY Times

Perhaps the stallion saw something lurking in the distance, or just randomly decided it didn’t want to run anymore. But the jockey, Julien was on the receiving end of the horse’s random stubborn decision. Thankfully Julien was ok after that epic tumble!

Superman to the Rescue

Some baseball stars are a little more melodramatic than others. We suppose that’s why they’re considered stars. So when these melodramatic athletes, like Manny Ramirez, want to make a home run, they won’t just run like normal players.

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Image: The Coli

Nope, this is really the moment that they’ve all been waiting for. When Manny Ramirez saw that he was just seconds away from the base, he took his chance to dive in style through the air like Superman. And sure enough, his shining moment went down in flying baseball history.

The Wrong Kind of Kick

Although soccer is also known as football in Europe, it seems like one of these players needs to brush up on the meaning of the game. We have to admire player 26 for his passion, and his willingness to kick the ball at all costs, but we’re not quite sure that player 9 would agree.

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Image: Gator County

Clearly as the ball flew into the direction of both players, the player at the front saw his opportunity to let the ball fly on to his chest and chest it back out. It seems that player 26 didn’t even notice that there was a live human in his way and kicked up. just in time to land on the other players’ crown jewels. Ouch.

When You Get Busted

We don’t know about you, but it sure looks like this troublesome duo just got caught red-handed by their teacher from school and are pretty surprised. While basketballers seemed to be having a harmless scrap over the ball, the look on their guilty faces says a thousand words.

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Image: Cheezburger

As the competitive pair were both so caught up in stealing the ball from each other, we’re not quite sure if this is how basketball is supposed to be played on the court. And by the looks of it, the referee just caught them out. They actually would make a great comedy duo, we would love to see what happened the next time they played together!

A Real-Life Emoji

They do say in sport and in life “no pain no gain,” but we didn’t quite realize just how dangerous these seemingly harmless ball sports are. When professional tennis player, Louk Sorensen saw the tennis ball flying straight towards him, we don’t have to imagine what was going through his mind.

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Image: Alchetron

That’s because he can’t really hide it at that point. The ball was so close to him that he looks like a real-life animated emoji. You know, the smiley face with the clenched teeth. It really seems like this emoji was made for teeth-clenching moments just like these!

Ballerina Basketball

Just like most athletes, pro basketball players really are willing to go above and beyond to lead their team to victory and make the winning slam dunk into the hoop. But for J.R Smith of the New York Knicks, he seems to have got a little confused between a basketball jump and a ballet leap.

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Image: The Coli

As his teammates and coach watched from the side-lines in pure awe, JR. Smith seems to have perfected the most graceful and majestic side ballet leap in the history of basketball. Perhaps he’d missed his true calling in life and was destined to be a swan.

The Water God

We know that these athletes have otherworldly abilities, but this mythical swimming creature looks like “The Water God” from ancient mythology. Of course, since this is a more recent picture than from the ancient times, so we did have to double-take a few times.

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Image: The Guardian

This magnificently-captured photo is actually of the Olympic swimmer, Micheal Phelps, taken in the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was just that powerful during the butterfly race, that he looks like he’s swimming like a God under a cascading waterfall. Either way, he sure made a winning splash.

An Unexpected Surf Buddy

For surf lovers out there, there’s no greater feeling on earth than catching the biggest and most crowd-pleasing wave in the sea. Really what a way to feel alive. But little does this wave chaser doesn’t know, is that there’s another creature, lurking under the water, waiting for its next dinner.

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Image: Surf 4 All

While this talented surfer thought he was on top of the world riding that gnarly wave, we almost don’t want to break it to him. We just the surfer and the unwelcome shark didn’t notice each other and that they both managed to swim away like nothing happened.

The Ultimate Distraction

In basketball, the aim of the defensive player is to stop the opposing team from slamming the ball in the hoop. So we’ve seen some impressive offensive tactics, sneaky kicks, and sly punches. But, this is a turn up for the books.

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Image: Tips 21

As the offensive player jumped with all his might to slam the ball into the hoop, his opponent finally got his chance. Something tells us, this is something he’s been wanting to do his whole life. We’re not quite sure if he’s squeezing his lips, or sticking his fingers up his nose, but the baller still seems undeterred and will make that shot no matter what.

A Leap of Faith

In the world of NFL, we’ve seen some dramatic showdowns over time. But Reggie Bush seems to have earnt the title of the most melodramatic and graceful player in American Footballing history. As he leaped into the air to escape his opponent, he looks like he was leaping on a trampoline.

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Image: Buzzfeed

Seriously, his opponent clearly knew what he was up against, which is why he performed his own stage dive. But with Reggie’s flying and leaping talents, he would make a great power team with the ballet basketballer for the Nicks, JR. Smith.

Batted out

Sometimes, being a spectator in any sport can be just dramatic and full of action as actually playing the sport. In games like baseball, many come prepared with their own baseball glove, just hoping to catch a stray ball, But this crowd were not prepared for what happened next.

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Image: USA Today

This crowd happened to witness a more dramatic turn of events than they could have hoped for. They didn’t have to just contend with a stray ball, but they were faced with a random stray bat flying through the air. As the crowd were super-charged with emotions, let’s just hope the poor guy took it all on the chin.

Spectacularly Spooked Out

As we’ve seen in the world of sports, every game can really be filled with the full spectrum of emotions. But while this chaotic pair were in the middle of their own dramatic diving scene, something stopped them both in their tracks. They both look like they’ve seen a ghost lurking in the distance.

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Image: Telegraph

As one player is mid-dive, with his leg floating in the air, and the other has dive-bombed onto the pitch, it would seem like nothing could have broken their concentration. But by the hilarious and spooked out looks on their faces, it really looks like they’ve seen something that scary that they’ve been frozen in time.

A Flawless Display

Just like her equally talented sister, Serena Williams is known for her tennis prowess on the court. While she’s always been determined and focused, in this monumental moment she proves she’s an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.

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Image: Brooklyn Eagle

As Serena makes an epic stage dive leap on the court, it doesn’t seem to bother her that the ball looks far out of her reach. She doesn’t take no as an answer and is willing to take a risk and perform an epic backhand swing at all costs.

A Skull and Crushed Bones

We know that for seasoned fighters, that getting into the ring might be the best way to let off some well-deserved steam and get the adrenaline-pumping. And you have to be prepared to take a few punches and kicks along the way.

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Image: Fight State

Both of these fighters look pretty fierce, especially the one with the giant back tattoo of a skull and tattoo sleeves to match. But sometimes even the fiercest fighters can be caught off guard. As his opponent kung-fu kicked him right through his back, we could almost feel the painful crush rippling through his tattooed body.

An Unlucky Streak

While some players have all the luck, other players seem to luck out. Just like this guy did. We’re just wondering whether he had butter-finger hands and the ball slipped out of his glove, or the ball few straight towards his face, and he didn’t have time to catch it.

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Image: Laugh Interest

Either way, that baseball slammed him straight in the nose. And in this immaculately-timed photo, we didn’t just get to see the ball flying towards, his face, got to see the exact moment of impact, as the ball rippled straight through his nose.

A Sporting Cinderella

When you’re an Ethiopian track star like Etenesh Diro, there’s a few essential things you should usually remember to prepare before a competitive race in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The most important thing to give you a head start, is that you really need to remember to tie your shoelaces.

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Image: Business Insider

Although it might seem like a small thing, Diro clearly was so focused on winning, that this must have slipped her mind. And when one shoe slipped off mid-race, she was so determined that it didn’t even bother her. Perhaps she was just a sporting Cinderella, looking for her next track prince.

A Lost Rider

It might look like this motorbike rider has lost his way and mistakenly ended up in the ocean. But this cool rider is actually an Australian motorbike stunt rider, named Robbie Madison. He’d actually been planning this spectacular stunt for a while.

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Image: Red Bull

So, let us introduce you to the new kind of surfing, now known as super extreme Motorcross surfing. To perfect the awe-inspiring stunt, Robbie is riding on a modified motocross bike attached to a skiboard, and we’re glad the moment was framed for us to watch forever in awe.

Halep Needs A Little Help

Simona Halep is now a world-famous professional tennis player from Romania. Over time, she’s climbed to the top of her game and has been ranked world No. 1 in the singles matches, twice in 2017 and 2019. But sometimes, even world-famous stars need a little “halep.”

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Image: Reuters

As the tennis ball flew straight into her direction as lightning-speed, we’re sure her life pretty much flashed before her eyes. In this superbly-timed photo, we can really feel her pain, and this is just another incident that reminds us how unpredictable ball sports can be, no matter how good you are!

A Divine Calling

While the two basketball referees on the right seem to be locked in a jam about the finer details of the game, the ref on the left seems a little more distracted than most. As he looks towards the heavens, it looks as if he’s received some kind of divine calling.

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Image: Huffpost

In this magnificently-timed photo, captured at just the right angle, it seems that the ref on the left has been crowned as the king of the referees. With his new regal status, it seems like he has been entrusted with all the answers and has the power to settle the argument once and for all.

A Wrestling Waltz

Now, this is a sight you don’t typically see in the world of wrestling. We know these eager fighters can get themselves into some compromising positions, but as these two athletes look like they’re ready for some kind of wrestling waltz.

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Image: Daily motion

In this meme-worthy photo, as they pair embraced each other, held each others’ hands, and gazed towards the sky, they look like their ready for a romantic dance-off on an episode of Dancing with the Stars. Seriously, who knew wrestling could be so graceful or romantic!

An Epic Pile Up

While some athletes are happy to unleash their graceful side, others are a little happier to get caught up in the chaos. This melodramatic pile up took place during a game between the Former Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns.

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Image: NFL

As the Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Antwaan Randle El grabbed the ball and was ready for a touchdown, he somehow got caught up in an epic pile up. As every player dived and bundled onto the player, we just hope it was all worth it in the end.

Flying Without Wings

In this impeccably-timed photo, we’re not quite sure if this gymnast just fell from the sky, or is she really leap flying through the air upside down without wings. Either way, we’re sure she has it under control because she’s a professional.

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Image: Two Red Dots

We suppose if you believe you can fly, then perhaps you really can. Although, her teeth do look pretty clenched, just like the animated emoji, and she looks like she’s hoping for the best, just like we would do. So let’s just pray that she made it and landed safely on two feet.

Where’s Your Head At

In this hair-raising hockey game between Finland and Norway, we’re sure things got a little heated between the Norwegian Hockey player, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and his opponent. But this puzzling photo sure raises a lot of elusive questions.

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Image: Complex

As the pair were backed against the side of the rink and locked in the middle of a headlock, it sure looks Ole-Kristian Tollefsen lost his head mid-fight. As all we were just left with was the image of a floating helmet, we had to wonder if this player had the power of invisibility after all.

Stage Fright

When you’re a professional NBA basketball player, like Drew Gooden, we’re sure that he’s seen a few basketballs in his time. But while he was playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, there was something about that particular ball, which clearly threw him off focus.

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Image: Brightside Me

Whether he realized the ball had become possessed, or he had an overpowering sense of awe for that specific ball, in that emotionally charged moment, Drew Gooden had zero chill. As he through his hands up in the air, we can just imagine him screaming “Oh-MMM-Geee.” We can still only wonder what was going through his head at that moment.

Track Bromance

Although these two track runners, Andre De Grasse and Usain Bolt are both from opposing countries and are in the middle of an Olympic race, we’re happy to see that international bromance is very much alive and kicking in the world of sports.

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Image: Esquire

This heartwarming photo was captured during the 200m semi-finals at the 2016 Rio Olympic games. While the pair were happy to exchange some jokes and laughs at the finish line, they sure took their bromance to the next level of cute and make the most adorable running power duo.

Life’s Just A Rodeo

For risk-taking cowboys like Kody Lostroh of LaSalle, Colorado, he might have known that not every bull loves to be ridden. But when he competed in the finals of the Calgary Stampede rodeo in Calgary, he managed to meet the most stubborn bull of all.

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Image: Calgary Stampede

In an epic finale showdown between Kody Lostroh and the stubborn bull shark Baitin, it’s clear for everyone to see who won. As Kody was dramatically thrown off the bull and was sent shooting through the air upside down like an action-hero, at least he gave it his best shot!

I’ll Bite You

So, we’re not professional wrestlers, but something tells us that this jaw-breaking move is not quite in the spirit of the game. It’s probably not in the rule book either. We’re also not sure who started this sly little side biting tactic?

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Image: NBC News

It’s much like the chicken and the egg situation. Did the Canadian wrestler sneakily put his fingers in his opponent’s mouth to stop him in his tracks? Or did his opponent get a little too hungry to win, and saw his chance to gnaw away at his fingers. Well, whoever started it, we’re sure the referee will finish it somehow!

An Explosive Stunt

While we’re used to seeing some explosive stunts play out in Hollywood movies, we didn’t realize so many athletes are budding action-heroes. We’re not sure what type of soccer training these two players went through, but they sure pull off some impressive stunts.

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Image: Times

Since we can be sure there was no trampoline involved, we have to applaud the goalie in the red for managing to leap so high to grab the ball and stop it from hitting the net. He even managed to push the other player out of the way with his side, and we’re still trying to figure out the finer details of this action-packed photo.

A Picture-Perfect High Five

We’ve seen some bromances in our time, but the unbreakable bond between the championship golfer, Tiger Woods and his trusted caddie manages to surpass the rest. This awesome snap was captured at the 2005 Masters Tournament, which was held in Augusta, Georgia.

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Image: The Guardian

While Tiger has become accustomed to winning some championships in his time, this was one for the books. It actually marked the ninth out of his major championships. So Tiger and his trusted caddie definitely had a lot to celebrate with that high five!

Super NBA Fly

While NBA superstar, Dennis Rodman was playing for the Chicago Bulls, he was known for his spectacular performances on the court. But he really took things to the next level during a game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

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Image: Basketball 31

When Dennis saw the ball was flying out of control, he did what any one of us would do if they were a secret flying stunt artist. In true Superman-style, Dennis dived horizontally to save the day, and managed to catch the ball while he was flying through the air!

Swimming For Answers

Just when we thought we’d seen it all, from wrestling waltzing couples to leaping football players, it turns out that we wrong. We’re still not quite sure why, but this ping pong player seems to have found an interesting new way of playing ping pong.

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Image: Blaze Press

With his arms outstretched into the air, it sure looks like he’s like his perfected the art of swimming ping pong. Or perhaps this is the new way to catch your opponent by surprise with an awkward staring contest. Again, this just proved to us that the world of sport really is the gift that keeps on giving,

An Unfortunate Twist of Fate

While the world of sport can be full of adrenaline-pumping highs, it can also be full of twists, turns, and unexpected lows. So we’re sure a few moments before this shot was captured, this volleyball player was living her best life, at the top of her game.

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Image: News Bomb

But as we’ve come to realize, every ball game is a ticking-time-bomb, just waiting to happen. You never really know when that ball is going to come back around, and fly back towards you straight in the face. We just hope the impact wasn’t too horrific for this poor player.

A Bellisima Spin

As we’ve seen by now, many of these athletes are a little dramatic and expressive while they’re caught up in the moment. But this pair of Italian figure skaters, Stefania Berton, and Ondrej Hotarek couldn’t hide their emotions mid-spin.

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Image: Buzzfeed

This impeccably-timed photo was captured during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. And as Hotarek effortlessly threw his partner over his head, she can’t hide her emotions. She looks like she’s snarling in the face of her partner, or anyone who ever doubted her. Yes, this prima donna has got that spin all covered!

Raging Against the Machine

While some players get high on a little competition, and take their successes and losses on the chin, this anxious tennis player is clearly not one of those happy-go-lucky players. We can only imagine that this player was not having her best day.

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Image : Tennis Mash

Admittedly, she was probably on a losing streak and nothing seemed to be going her way that day. But as the rage overpowered her soul, and rose up through her face until she went as red as a tomato, she looks she’s about to burst. We just know one thing, we wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that raging player.

A Soccer Flash Mob

In yet another meme-worthy snap, we get to see first hand what really happens on the pitch in the heat of the moment. Although moments ago, these players were clearly battling out with each other to get the ball, it looks like everything changed in a flash, as soon as the beat dropped.

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Image: Bleacher Report

As soon as the music started, it stirred something deep inside of them and this dancing duo had no other choice but to flex their limbs. Although these are some very alternative moves tha we’re used to, perhaps maybe these players were just ahead of the times, and this is all set to be the new marching dancing craze.

Bowling Gymnastics

From this angle, it sure looks like this gymnast has lost her head and it’s been replaced by a shiny red bowling ball. Thankfully, although she looks a little extra-terrestrial, she’s still managing to perfect the perfect form for the judges. But we had so many questions…

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Image: NY Post

After some research, we soon discovered that this is no ordinary gymnast. This is Yeon Jae Son from Korea, who competed as a rhythmical gymnast in the 2016 Olympics. In this sport, gymnasts are able to perform with hoops, ribbons, and balls. So naturally here she is, leaning back with a bowling ball balanced on her neck!

Breakdance Wrestling

It seems like these gravity-defying wrestlers might have missed their calling in life. While we thought wrestling was all about proving your might against each other, these athletes, Keitani Graham of Micronesia and Charles Edward Betts of the United States, clearly had a different agenda.

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Image: The Atlantic

Perhaps the background music just got them, or they had always secretly wanted to show off their breakdancing talents, but they managed to pull off this impressive synchronized double head-stand wrestling move with style. These guys should really enter a different contest next time.

Oops…

Moments before this epic ice-skating fail unfolded, we’re sure that this ice-skater was gliding through the rink, filled with copious amounts of style, poise, and grace. But just like that, in a flash, everything changed and she went tumbling backward, straight through the side of the rink.

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Image: Geeksmate

As she slipped, crashed and burned to the reinforced barrier, this only made her faux pas even more dramatic. It’s also impressive, as this isn’t something that happens every day. But as they say, when you fall in life, you have to pick your self up, so let’s hope she styled it out with swag.

Wind it Up

World-famous NFL superstar, Tom Brady is now a firm favorite in the world of American Football. And he’s certainly flexed his muscles and showed his talent to the world during his time in the game. But we’ve never quite seen an impressive move like this before.

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Image: The Daily Beast

This iconic photo was taken just as Tom Brady lead the Patriots back to the Super Bowl by beating Jaguars. And just in case we weren’t aware of his superhuman strength, it sure looks like he’s winding the ball backward, like in an animated cartoon, before he helped lead his team to victory.

Shoe Focus

When these athletes prepare for their next performance, most of them really go into their own worlds. Some like to call it the zone. And everyone has their own individual method. So this Gold medalist swimmer, Federica Pellegrini, had her own very unique method of getting in the zone.

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Image: NY Times

In fact, Federica seems so caught up in her own world that she doesn’t really care what is going on in the outside world. To help her mentally and physically prepare, she looks like she’s performing some kind of shoe yoga meditation session. Well, her process sure works.

The Fly Kick Challenge

In the world of American football, we’re beginning to think that it’s not enough to just run with the ball and make a winning touchdown. Nope, to become a star, you have to perfect some kind of side-talent. While some may leap, these two players have got their own side-gig going on.

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Image Syracuse

This majestic photo was captured during a game between the Syracuse Orange football team and Pittsburgh. And as one player leaped into the air backward, the other clearly saw it as some kind of fly kick challenge. And this pair sure made headlines for their dramatic performance.

Soccer Head

Some people might say that if you’re too confident about something, it can go straight to your head. But this just takes this concept to a whole new level of extra. It looks just like Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial has literally turned into a literal soccer head.

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Image: Standard

This superb snap was taken at the perfect angle during the Europa League match between Manchester United and Partizan Belgrade. And actually, while it does look hilarious, this was just how Anthony actually controlled the ball. So at least he wasn’t another victim of a flying ball in the face.

Pole Vaulting Madness

Now we know those who are athletically-minded are a little more ambitious than others. But as this skillful pole vaulter attempted this back-breaking move, sometimes we have to wonder if they’re just dare-devils, or a little bit crazy.

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Image: Inside Athletics

In truth, these awesome photos reveal just how much skill, determination and talent it takes to complete these gravity-defying stunts. We’re still not sure how she managed to vault over the bar without touching it, and this is another reason why this is a deserving Olympic sport.

A Double-Whammy

There comes a day in every person and every athlete’s life where they think, today is not my day. And as this baseball player swung his bat against the ball and hopes for the best, he soon found out this was not his winning day either.

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Image: NY Times

While some players are unlucky enough to get a ball flying towards their face, or break the bat, this poor guy managed to accomplish both. And as the ball was flying towards his mouth, and his bat was broken in two and flying through the air, let’s just hope the bat didn’t smack him in the shins either!

Take That…NFL

All this time, we thought the life of an NFL star was tough and full of highs. lows, twists, and turns. but we never really gave a second thought to the referee. While some sports commentators joke about wanting to punch a player in the face, we didn’t actually think that the referee would take it seriously.

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Image: USA Today

Perhaps after years of watching scraps, dramatic showdowns, and foul play on the pitch, this referee just couldn’t hold it in any longer. As the rage took over his soul, he couldn’t help but clench his fists and punch in the direction of the player’s face. Well, let’s hope he let it all out now…

An Epic Huddle

In American football, one of the long-standing traditions before a game is to huddle. Some like to huddle and chant “hut hut.” We always thought that this secretive huddle was used by players to plan their big strategy before the game.

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Image: USA Today

From this angle, it looks like we’ve been completely misreading the huddle all this time. This awesome photo was captured of the Tennesee Titans, and it looks like they use their time to clash their helmets together until it hurts and then pray for the best.

Get Your Popcorn Ready

While some people like to grab their popcorn and snack while they’re watching the big game, some players really can’t wait to eat popcorn like regular people. Yes Terrell Owens, from the Dallas Cowboys wanted to have his popcorn and eat it all at once.

Image: Bleacher Report

While this did seem like a pretty cool and smooth idea in theory, we’re not quite sure if he thought this one through. This was mainly because he still had his defensive helmet on his head at the time. So when he leaned back and the popcorn went all over his face, we just hope he styled it out.

An Explosive Game

We don’t know about you, but this explosive snap has just raised the bar and might just be crowned the most perfectly-timed photo in sporting history. Seriously, we know these American football players are dramatic, but this is just extra.

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Image: Yahoo

Seemingly, this Saints player saw his moment to shine like a star and leap high into the air. But at that exact moment, flames blew up right behind him, and it was like he was suddenly flying, powered by rocket fuel. Another theory is that he just let off some explosive bodily gas, but one thing’s for sure, this photo is lit!

When Tackles Go Bad

They say that all’s fair in love and war. And it seems like in any competitive sport, especially when there’s a ball involved, people are really willing to tackle and fight to the last breath, as though they’re in a sports war. Just like these fierce NFL players did as they got caught up in an epic battle.

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Image: ESPN

As player 31 ran to tackle the other player to the last breath, maybe he thought it was just some harmless sporting fun. But as the other player’s helmet exploded into the air, we’re not sure if how that tackle was supposed to go down. Either that or someone threw some random orange confetti on the pair at just the right moment.

That’s Just Savage

Ouch! We can all agree on one thing here. That brutal knockout blow was bound to hurt in the morning. In this savage snap, we got to see the exact moment that the heavyweight boxer, Lavarn Harvell’s face was turned in jellied mush.

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Image: Daily Mail

The crucial blow was dealt out by his fellow U.S. heavyweight Tony Pietrantonio, and it managed to ripple through Harvell’s entire face. Luckily, Harvell still managed to give an interview after the impact, but said: “I felt that punch all the way up my shoulder and back.” Us too!

No Sweat

We’d like to think of these rugged players with otherworldly abilities, who are able to accomplish anything with ease. But sometimes these athletes have moments where reality stares them in the face. Like this hilarious moment, which was captured of pro tennis player, Rafael Nadal of Spain.

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Image: Irish Times

The comically-timed snap was taken just after Rafael had won his match against Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci at Wimbledon. Clearly, it was a pulse-racing match. And as the sweat oozed out his forehead and dripped down his face, he had no other choice but to shake it off. So he shook his hair with all his might in the air, like a dog that had just got caught in the rain!

Almost There…

In this nail-biting photo, it looks just like this adventurous professional tennis player has just crawled through the jungle, swerved past the crocodiles and almost made it to the finish line. Well, we might just have let our imaginations get the better of us. Perhaps there’s a more reasonable explanation.

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Image: ESPN

We’re sure that this tennis player was just so determined to hit that ball, that she dived onto the court. But instead of hitting the ball, she managed to throw her tennis racket so impressively that it landed on its side. As she reaches out in vain to grab it, we’re all rooting for her as she’s almost there!

The Leaping Tweener

It seems like for many of these athletes, the sport’s arena is their stage. And the world is their audience. So, just when we thought we’d seen every theatrical move we could possibly see, we learned that there’s a new dramatic tennis move in town. So let us introduce you all to the leaping tennis tweener.

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Image: The Observer

The tweener is known as one of the most difficult tennis shots you can take, as the player dramatically leaps into the air and hits the ball between his legs. So, here you can see the esteemed player, Gael Monfils perfecting his own leaping tennis tweener showpiece for the whole world to marvel at.

Thriller Moves

We know that tennis can be full of highs and lows, but we didn’t expect the game to look this frightening. As this tennis champ leaped into a backward swing, he looks like he’s been possessed by the forces of darkness. Or perhaps there’s another reason for his devilish behavior…

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Image: Buzzfeed

As the player pulls off one of his most impressive Michael Jackson impersonations of all time, we’re thinking that he got the tennis championship confused with an audition for a production of Thriller. And with those frightening moves, spiked hair and zombie eyes, he’s sure to get the part.

I Got You, Babe…

Some professional boxers are all about the fight, and will whatever it takes to win and defeat their opponent at any cost. But in these heartwarming snap, it’s comforting to see that girl power is very much alive in the world of boxing.

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Image: Sporting News

The photo features the MMA professional boxers, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, and was captured just after they had showed their skills in the ring. But as both exhausted athletes fell into each others’ arms in a warm embrace, it’s like they’re saying “I got you babe,” whoever wins!

Jaw-droppingly Bendy

In another jaw-dropping example of super-human strength, this talented figure skater managed to blow us all out of the water. Thanks to her bendable limbs, she managed to lean back to the max and looks like she’s in the middle of a backward jazz dance.

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Image: Buzz Sports

We have to admire this talented figure-skater for her balancing skills as she managed to pull off such an impressive move with style. And with her jazz hands to top it all off, we’re pretty sure this crowd-pleasing move won her the admiration of the whole audience.

Hanging in Suspense

In the world of sporting fails, there’s one big thing we’ve come to realize. If you’re gonna fail, slip or fall, you have to do it in style. Even better yet, add some theatrical swag to your fall. So, in another cliff-hanging incident that left us on the edge of our seats, this is exactly what this poor guy did.

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Image: Ask FM

This extreme cyclist didn’t just fall off his bike, he fell spectacularly and leaped into the air like the extreme sports star that he is. And in the majestically-timed photo, he vaulted into the air, his bike flew away from him and they were both left hanging in suspense. We just hope the impact wasn’t too hard…

The Puck, Coming to a Theatre Near You

While ice-hockey can be hugely entertaining for fans, after seeing dangerous spectacles like this, we’ve decided this is another sport that we would rather watch from afar. Since you never really know when or where the puck will fly into the air, it turns out that even the photographer can’t escape.

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Image: The Sun

This dramatic scene was captured during a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes. As the puck flew at lightning speed, straight towards the photographer, and the players and ref are watching it all unfold, it looks like a dramatic scene from a new ice-hockey comedy movie.

A Synchronized Swim, Dance, Opera

It seems that many of these athletes have more than one shining talent, and love to take the opportunity to combine all their skills in one dazzling package. Pictured here are Canada’s Marie-Pier Boudrreau Gagnon, and Elise Marcotte as they are ready to start their routine.

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Image: Washington Post

While this jazzy routine is part of their performance for the women’s duet synchronized swimming during the Olympics, it could easily be for a new age-style dance routine. And while they bend and flex in ways we never thought were possible, it looks like their about to top their routine by belting out some opera.

Le Bron’s Superpower

NBA superstar Le Bron James is widely accepted as one of the most talented basketballers in the league. But with super-fly moves like these, he really is in a league of his own. This awesome photo was captured while he was playing for the Miami Heat.

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Image: Washington Post

As his teammates, the crowd and his LA Lakers opponents watch Le Bron in awe, it seems like no one could contain their excitement. It really looks like he fired up his jet-back and flew into the air so that his face was level with the hoop. As he dunked the ball, it’s clear that this is another reason why he’s a legend.

It’s Like You’re My Mirror…

When NFL star Tom Brady lead his team, the New England Patriots to victory against the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, we’re sure it was one of the proudest moments of his sporting career. But when he got the chance to celebrate the win with his daughter, we’re sure that was the icing on the cake.

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Image: Business Insider

In this heartwarming picture, we really got to see the world through the eyes of a child. As Tom Brady was proud of his victory and held the Lombardi Trophy up to the crowd, his daughter was just excited that she could see her reflection in the shine. And that made the moment even more memorable!

Wait…Don’t Go

So, we’ve seen some interesting, comical and sly defensive tactics in our time, but this one gives a whole new meaning to the concept of defense. This female player really doesn’t want her opponent to leave, so instead, she pulled on her jersey.

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Image: The Bleacher Report

Admittedly, this does remind us of a classic toddler tactic of throwing a tantrum and grabbing hold of her mom to stop her walking away, or kicking the ball. Or perhaps she, maybe the other player really did have something she needed tell her opponent and it just couldn’t wait!

Take That, Hoop

It’s clear that some athletes are a little more charismatic than others. And that’s another reason why they’re destined to be stars and provide the most entertaining and hilarious reasons to watch the game. One of these shining stars is Zion Williamson, who could double as a comedy actor.

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Image: CBS Sports

As Zion Williamson battled through his opponents, including Le Bron James to get his chance to shine, he didn’t just jump and slam the ball. Nope, he leaped into the air with style, swag, and charisma and took his chance to take his winning shot and make an unforgettable slam dunk.

A Trippy Player

We already know that these sporting events can be unpredictable, but we thought by now we had covered every possible scenario. Not only do the crowd have to worry about flying, balls, pucks, and bats, in some cases, they have to worry about some awkward and clumsy players.

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Image: News 18

While basketballers are known for their swag and style, we’re sure just moments before this player was impressing the crowd with his prowess on the court. But in a flash, he made one goofy move and he wound up tumbling into the crowd. We’re sure that was one game the player or the crowd would ever forget!

Showered with Love

As we’ve already seen, NBA star Le Bron James seems untouchable on the court. The world-famous player has won the hearts and affection of his teammates and fans across the world and is probably used to being showered with love.

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Image: The Atlantic

But this is a totally different kind of love. After a pulse-racing game on the court, Le Bron needed something refreshing to cool down with. So his teammates rushed to his aid and poured tubs of ice-cold water all over him. Either that or this is how his team celebrate their wins. As the water cascaded over him and he couldn’t see, at least it was refreshing.

Crunch Time

In the fast-paced world of baseball, precision and timing are everything. So when you see the ball flying towards you, you really have to think on your feet, as every second counts. This was an epic lesson that Diamondbacks catcher, Chris Iannetta had to learn the hard way.

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Image: SB Nation

Chris Iannetta probably thought he had enough time on his hands and he had covered every possible baseball scenario. But as the ball flew towards him at lightning-speed, not even his bat could protect him. And he became yet another victim of a balling nightmare.

Ah, The Irony

In these politically correct times, we know that there are many words to describe people’s romantic preferences. But traditionally, the word “gay” has been used to describe two men or two women’s love for each other. So as these two male players’ warmly embraced each other, it made this photo even more ironic.

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Image: Advocate

You see, the player William Gay, is a former American football cornerback. So as he turned his back to the camera, and we saw his shirt emblazoned with his surname, Gay, many people saw the irony that two of his male opponents were locked in a warm and loving embrace! Well clearly, there’s a lot of love to go around in sports.

Well, That’s Embarrassing…

For most athletes and pretty much every human on the planet, if you asked them what their most embarrassing scenario would be, this might just be it. Imagine the thought of playing soccer to an arena full of fans, and your shorts slipping down to reveal your undies.

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Image: News 18

Luckily for this soccer player, the arena doesn’t seem to be full, so he probably thought he got away with his embarrassing slip up. But that was until this photographer captured the moment in all its glory and framed it for the world to see. Let’s just hope the player saw the funny side!

Be The Horse

For some method actors, they really try their best to immerse themselves in a role and become the part that they’re playing. But we didn’t think sportsmen had their own version of method acting. In this superbly-timed photo, it really looks like jockey really wanted to become the stallion that he loved so much.

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Image: News 18

It really looks like this jockey and stallion have become so attached to each other, that they have morphed into the same being! Of course, we know that this might be another case of camera trickery, but we couldn’t help but laugh at this iconic horse snap.

Kiss The Horse

While athletes seem to have morphed into a horse, others took their horse fandom to the next level of extra. We know that horses are beautiful and majestic creatures, but that doesn’t mean that you have to actually kiss the horse, straight on its lips.

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Image: Yahoo

Of course, we know that this isn’t a real-life horse. But that doesn’t make this photo any less bizarre. The funniest part is that these sports fans are not even at a horse race. This fan just chose wear a horse mask to watch a soccer match between Spain and Italy. And his lover couldn’t resist a cheeky kiss for the cameras!

Tumbling into the Limelight

Sometimes in life, the most unexpected tumbles can lead you to the most unexpected places. This was the case for this surprised 15-year-old ball girl, Erin Lorencin, who spectacularly slipped and tumbled straight into the French pro tennis player, Michael Llodra.

Hilarious and Perfectly Timed Sports Photos of Athletes Caught Mid Action 99
Image: Reuters

Although at first, Erin might have been mortified at her epic fail, it actually turned out in her favor. When the photographer captured the iconic photo of her collision with Michael, she made headlines around the world and tumbled into the limelight. As she had hopes of becoming a tennis player one day, this was sure one way to make a name for herself!