For the record, this was billed as: World Extreme Pencil Fighting Championships WXPFL VIII: Hard Wood. ”The Schoolyard Sport of Pencil Fighting goes Pro! Pencil vs. Pencil Until Somebody Breaks!”

Be Cool. Be Brave.

There are times when friends ask what I’m doing, I tell them and find myself laughing as they process what I just said: “Yeah, I’m going to Québec to photograph downhill ice skating.”

Out Of The Frying Pan

Yeah, it was cold. And ugly. And unbeknownst to me, I had lost an hour driving from Denver to Liberal. (Thanks iPhone!) So I was really running an hour late for the early morning activities of the 62nd Annual International Pancake Day races.

Sol Neelman's photographs of Weird Sports – Picture Editor : Mike Davis

Chances are good that you’ve never seen most of the sport that Portland based photographer Sol Neelman photographs. He’s been photographing a lot of these weird sports these past few years, including events that you’d be hard pressed to call sports. There is definitely sporting involved; people in his pictures are doing things that generally require exertion and there are often balls and specialized clothing involved. But not always.


If 6-year-olds created a bike race, it’d easily be a form of cyclocross. It’s fun to ride, fun to watch, fun to shoot. I crisscrossed the state to Bend a week ago for the final day of the national championships to see what I could see and to test out my new cold-weather gear before the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Sol Neelman, diversifying to support a 'weird sports' personal project


AFTER STAFF – Sol Neelman, diversifying to support a ‘weird sports’ personal project | RESOLVE — the liveBooks photo blog:

Photographer Sol Neelman left a staff job at The Oregonian in 2007 after ten years as a newspaper photojournalist. Although he’s won a Pulitzer and been honored twice by POYi, Sol does not claim to be an expert at the “After Staff” transition — and that’s exactly why I wanted to share his story. Burnt out on low-paid editorial, exploring commercial and wedding, and pursuing the personal project he’s passionate about, Sol echoes the experiences of almost every photographer I talked to for this project.

Gringo Libre by Sol Neelman

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It was so easy, I laughed. Caught a trolly to the border, went through the lab maze and was spat out in Mexico. Jumped into a cab and there I was, taking photos of all the folks dressed in Lucha Libre masks. My face hurt that night from all the smiling.

Sol Trek: The Search for Whales at THE WILD WEIRD WORLD OF SPORTS


From Sol Trek: The Search for Whales at THE WILD WEIRD WORLD OF SPORTS:

My favorite Star Trek movie is IV: The Voyage Home. And I thought about it all the time while searching for sumo in Tokyo.

Check it out here.

The Wild Weird World of Sports: I Want To Ride My Bicycle. I Want To Ride It Where I Like.

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An annual Roller Race, part of the Oregon Manifest Handmade Bike Show this past weekend.

Race a stationary bike, dismount, grab a kiddie bike, run around the bar and be the first to touch the cow bell.

Check it out here.

The Wild Weird World of Sports: Game Over

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Photos by Sol Neelman

Ok, so the Games are over. Over dinner with friends, Rob Gauthier of the LA Times and I were talking about how during the middle of the Games, we felt like it’d never end. But then, the night after the Closing Ceremonies, we wondered where did the time go?

Well, here is the Mother Load of images:

Check it out here.

The Wild Weird World of Sports: Trials and Tribulations: Day 2


Photos by Sol Neelman

EUGENE, ORE. — Day 2 from the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.

Here’s what I saw while sitting on my ass all day.

Check it out here.