Igor Utkin

Igor Utkin (1942-2009) was a sports photographer who started his career at the photo lab of RIA Novosti press agency. After his first World Press Photo award, he became a full time press photographer. In 1976, he transferred to ITAR-TASS. His many professional awards include Best Sports Photographer of Russia, a medal of Merit for the Fatherland and the prize of the USSR's Union of Journalists. In 2003, on the occasion of the retrospective Children's Jury exhibition, Igor Utkin told World Press Photo: 'I have had a lifelong fascination with the split second dynamics, victory and defeat of sports. I count many Russian sports heroes, such as Soviet national goalkeeper Yashin and hockey star Maltsev, among my friends. I have been offered jobs in many countries, but my Russian identity is one of the most important things in my life; I have to live and work in my own country. I always work alone and use very few rolls of film. Although I am still active in my profession, I dream of finding a successor who shares my fascination with sports and photography - someone to whom I can pass on my secrets and my unique photo archive.'