After finishing sixth in the men’s canoe slalom final at the London Olympics in 2012, despite being favourite for gold, Peter Kauser was at a loss as to why. “I cannot find anything that affected my performance and was responsible for me not achieving my goal,” he said, looking back the following year. “I still haven’t found the answer, but I hope I will some day.” The Slovenian slalomer is becoming enlightened, though: he’s since won the World Cup, on a stretch of water about an hour’s drive from where he was born. This image is from practice there.
Above the alps, France/Italy
Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet leap out of a plane at an altitude of 10,052m. It’s -55°C up there on a bright Tuesday in mid-May; any higher and the two Frenchmen would need pressure suits. During the next seven or so minutes of freefall and flying along a ridge of Mont Blanc just centimetres from the rock, they reach a peak speed of 385kph and let off the flares tied to their ankles. We’d have to take their word for it were it not for Dom Daher, also of France and a man who takes the kind of photos, like this one, that action sports athletes use for their Christmas cards.
Some say that director Stanley Kubrick and NASA faked Neil Armstrong’s small step/giant leap on elaborate sets at a secret location. What rubbish! If they wanted to mock up the moon landings, they’d have gone to the lunar-like volcanic island of Milos. When the light is right, the one-time home of the Venus de Milo has an eerily off-world look about it. “I’ve been riding everywhere in the world,” says Julien Dupont, the French trials rider, “but I’ve never been riding on the moon. It’s strange: we’re here in Greece, but I felt like I was on the moon.”