Rio Water wins story of the year; Krupa takes photo award
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Brazil-based reporters Brad Brooks and Jenny Barchfield won story of the year honors for their coverage of the polluted water at Olympic venues in the annual contest for AP staffers judged by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
The judges, sports editors and writers for newspapers and websites around the U.S., met in Florida this week. They praised the Rio water package, which included tests that provide more information than those used by Olympic organizers.
''The story was incredibly detailed but easy to read, making the science and the numbers understandable,'' the judges said. ''It included a wide variety of voices that brought home the magnitude of the problem. It was a fascinating, in-depth, groundbreaking story well worth story of the year honors.''
Other contest winners - announced Friday - included:
- Paris sports writers John Leicester and Samuel Petrequin, deadline writing, for their story on the attacks at France's national stadium. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/a140c39d15344ed7aefd92ead9259dc4/quick-thinking-averted-massacre-paris-attacks-stadium
''This chilling report is a powerful example of how a reporter must respond when the result of a match becomes an afterthought. It captured the mayhem at the scene while providing key details that showed the damage could have been far worse. It is an impressive display of quality reporting and writing under unthinkable circumstances on deadline,'' the judges said.
- New York-based baseball writer Ronald Blum, enterprise writing, for his package on how infields are moving in response to baseball analytics. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6860198fb705480c8717a25f97910e11/big-shift-infields-spin-response-data-explosion
''This was truly an enterprise where the reporter(s) noticed a trend and looked further into it. It effectively looked at baseball analytics, often a complex topic, and broke it into easily explained words.''
- Nashville sports writer Teresa Walker, feature writing, for her story on how fans save their seats at the Masters.
''This was a clever premise for a story, one that gave readers a fun, fresh look at one of the world's heavily covered sporting events. The story included multiple voices that moved the story forward. The author covered all the obvious questions and offered us off-beat but entertaining phrases - ''chicken-walk'' - that gave readers a sense that they were in Augusta, too,'' the judges said. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ef097dba6d324410943c20f805040937/best-seat-masters-finish-requires-chair-early-arrival?utm-campaign=AP-Sports&utm-source=SocialFlow&utm-medium=Twitter
- Sports writer Jim Vertuno, the Grimsley award, for his body of work that included stories about a Texas women's basketball player's recovery from depression and suicide attempts; blind pole vaulter Charlotte Brown winning a bronze medal at the high school state championship; and Texas scrapping its once-vaunted high school steroids testing program that didn't live up to its promise. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/4f4aa72a42234494b37ae7534ac6555a/texas-lawmakers-vote-end-high-school-steroids-testing
''The entries reflect the winner's range as a reporter and writer, the ability to write a compelling feature off of an event, to take a deep look into the impact of public health policy on high school athletics and a gift for telling a deeply a college athlete's deeply personal story,'' the judges said.
Photo awards went to:
- Boston-based Charles Krupa won the Thomas V. diLustro award for best portfolio for his work that included Tom Brady reacting on field, a hockey fight between the Bruins and Ottawa Senators, Serena Williams reacting at U.S. Open, and Rob Gronkowski with fans during Super Bowl win parade.
The judges said Krupa's portfolio contained a ''diverse and dynamic mix of compelling and emotional action photos'' and a ''visual storytelling that brings the audience away from the field. A standard for all professionals to follow.''
- Sarajevo-based Amel Emric, best sports action, for his photo of spectators watching as a diver jumps from the Old Mostar Bridge in Bosnia during the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in August.
Emric's photo was ''a truly unique and brilliant look at this diving event,'' the judges said. ''The wide scope of the photo delivered an entire story rather than just a singular focus on one athlete. This image shows a tremendous amount of work in terms of planning and execution a simply brilliant piece of art.''
- San Diego-based Gregory Bull, sports feature photo, for his image of San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko bracing himself as he is doused in Gatorade after hitting a walk-off single to defeat the San Francisco Giants in September.
The judges noted that many sports figures have been doused with the traditional Gatorade dunk, but Bull's image ''transformed what would normally have been a routine photo and gave us a view of something we have witnessed thousands of times, but really had never seen before.''