Sports photographers and videographers usually work stealthily in the background, documenting athletes without distracting from the competition, but one cameraman in China stole the show after he outran the sprinters in a 100m race.
The college student videographer at Datong University in northern China’s Shanxi province was tasked with shooting the 100-meter sprint from up close — he was positioned in an outside lane and started a short distance ahead of the student-athletes. When the gun fired, the videographer began sprinting with the athletes while keeping one outstretched arm steady and the gimbal-mounted camera pointed at the runners.
Despite holding the camera rig (which reportedly weighed over 8.8lbs/4kg), not being appropriately dressed for a sprint, and continually looking over his shoulder, the videographer was apparently able to keep pace with the runners, maintain the gap, and cross the finish line first.
Footage of the man’s feat has since gone viral both in China and internationally, with many Chinese netizens calling the man “the actual rightful champion” of the race. Here’s a sampling of some of the witty reactions by Internet commenters:
“Plot twist: They are all applying for the vacant cameraman position.”
“Cameraman: “I could’ve competed but I decided to serve a higher purpose.”
“The athletes couldn’t qualify as a cameraman so they had to be a runner.”
“Imagine practicing months or years just to be overshadowed by a cameraman.”
“Plot twist: He was vlogging while participating in the race.”
The man’s feat is strangely similar to this humorous commercial Powerade aired years ago in which a cameraman wins the gold medal:
A few years ago, an ultra-fit cameraman in the United States also went viral after he was filmed keeping up with runners in the Suicide Sprint at the 2016 Reebok Crossfit Games while holding a heavy stabilized camera rig in one hand.