LAUSANNE, January 22, 2019 – One behind the other the finalists stood in a single file line backstage as their category was announced and a video of their work was displayed in front of a room full sports enthusiasts.
The anticipation was different for everyone.
They were awaiting a moment that was an incredible honor to all—winning an award that is new to the field of sports journalism. The inaugural edition of the AIPS Sports Media Awards recognizes journalists that have submitted work from all over the globe and rewards them for the work they have done.
For Vincent Riemersma—a finalist in the Photography-Sport Action category—the nerves did not seem to get to him. He rocked back and forth quickly from right-foot to left-foot a few times and smiled. Then, he gave a wink before the stage manager sent the three contestants on stage. Maybe he had a feeling that his photo, Skating Shadows, would earn the first-place prize.
And if you are going to place first in the Athlete Profile for Video category how else would you spend your experience? Well, Diego Hurtado De Mendoza was filming behind-the-scenes with his trio of filmmakers from the Olympic Channel minutes before they were called onto the stage.
Anas Armeyaw Anas was recognized by AIPS president Gianni Merlo for a special award in the topic of Investigative Reporting. A moment of silence was held for his friend and colleague—Ahmed Hussein-Suale, who was just killed while doing his job as a journalist. A short, but powerful speech from Anas followed and most people—including the stage crew—had chills from the moment.
To be a finalist in two different categories is an achievement in itself, but after Emanuela Audisio received third-place in the category of Athlete Profile for Video with her creation of Pele’s Last Show, she did not seem content. She had been the first in line to walk onto the stage for the category and when the trophy was handed to her, it was almost as if she felt defeated, but her night was not over.
The Italian filmmaker returned backstage five categories later for the revealing of the winners for the Video- Documentary category. With the look of excitement washed from her face she removed her glasses and handed it to a woman backstage asking if she could come get them after. She walked out to the stage to learn of her fate. “And the winner is…”
A well-deserved first place trophy was handed to Audisio for her work on the compelling documentary of 1968- Sport and Revolution.
All finalists received monetary prizes along with their first, second and third place trophies at the AIPS Sports Media Awards. So while there were only eight first-place trophies and two special awards handed out, everyone went home a winner on Monday night in Lausanne, Switzerland.