A rider reaches the first checkpoint at 530km into the Silkroad Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The Silkroad Mountain Race is a self-supported 1,860km challenge that stretches across the Kyrgyz mountain ranges, from the freezing alpine tundra to the lush and at times boiling mountain valley, and everything in between. Riders must endure it all to succeed. Crucially, they are not allowed to receive any assistance; no friends or family to cheer them on; no provided food but that which they bring, buy, or are given by the locals; no hospital or mechanic nearby to mend them or their bikes.

Award of Excellence

Yam G Jun

Yam G-Jun, a photojournalist currently based in Central Asia, was a photographer for the Associated Press, covering local and international news stories in Malaysia and Chicago. He holds a B.A. from Columbia College Chicago and is an alumnus of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Rhythms Monthly, Chicago Tribune and NPR, to name a few. He was awarded first place in the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People Category 2019, the Studs Terkel Scholarship for his work in Pilsen, the Illinois College Press Association Spot News Photo of the Year, and has exhibited his work in various group shows in New York state, Chicago and Malaysia

[ RECREATIONAL & TRADITIONAL SPORTS ] A single photograph that celebrates the role sports play in the community. Images may show the emotional highlights of players on the field or the reactions of fans. Local, traditional, and obscure games which are often neglected in mainstream media are welcome in this category. The pictures must be from non-professional settings. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 10 images. The images must be taken in 2021.

Judges for Recreational & Traditional Sports
Ikuru Kuwajima
Tanvi Mishra
Sanjit Das
Maika Elan
Oded Wagenstein