In Malaysia, the community of female photojournalists here is relatively small in comparison to their male counterparts.
That’s why the news of Annice Lyn’s recent win at the 2023 World Sports Photography Awards is much to be buzzed about!
Winning against 700 professionals from over 70 countries
Yes, this prestigious award drew fierce competition, and our very own Malaysia’s Annice Lyn’s photo won GOLD!
Did you also gasp?
Annice’s photo captured a priceless moment at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, when Russian figure skater, Alexandra Trusova was doing the “death drop” (one of the hardest stunts in figure skating).
This element is when the figure skater’s body is in the air and torso completely parallel to the ice.
“Out of many other, 1000 photos, (this shot) where the ice speckles up and her (Alexandra Trusova) long locks flew up, everything came together and I knew it was the shot.”
This crisp magical photo would not have easily been captured if it were not for Annice’s background in figure skating though.
Yup! Annice Lyn (31) is a former national figure skater and has since blossomed into the trailblazing photojournalist she is today – with her work featured by huge names in the media world like:
- TIME magazine
- National Geographic
- the New York Times
- the Olympics and many more.
She’s also the first and only Malaysian female photographer whose work has been accredited for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang 2018.
What’s more impressive is that her winning photo won the WINTER category of the awards
This is super rare for South East Asian photographers (given the fact we Malaysians have a tropical climate so opportunities to photograph winter sports are scarce).
Annice’s victory wasn’t just personal; it was a victory for Southeast Asian photographers as well.
“The photographers you (typically) look up to (especially in Winter sports category) tend to come from a certain demographic”, she said.
Annice also shared that this was the first time she’s ever submitted an entry to this prestigious photography award, competing against other photographers that she sees as “legends”.
“To win either alongside them or shoot over them, it’s kind of a dream.” – Annice Lyn.
A skating accident changed her life…
Speaking to WORLD OF BUZZ, Annice shared with us a little bit of her story as a former national figure skate and her transition to becoming a visual storyteller.
“I started figure skating when I was 13. It’s considered quite a late bloomer because the majority of the figure skaters start from 4 to 5 years old.” – Annice Lyn
Despite this and the pricey costs of the sport, Annice was hooked and flourished as a skater.
“I think even to my parents or even to me, it’s not the most economically friendly sport. But yeah, I love it”, she said and recalled how she had to beg her mom to let her keep skating.
Unfortunately, a painful skating accident that landed her wheelchair bound for 3 days ended her time as an athlete on the ice.
As she left the sport, another new door opened when her former figure skating coach suggested she start taking professional photos of Malaysian figure skaters after seeing how great she is with the camera through her photos on social media.
She even co-founded Women Photographers Malaysia, a collective that focuses on developing gender and culture inclusivity in our local visual storytelling scene.
She shot 3 Olympic games before even turning 30!
“They always say look up to your hero, be as good as a hero. But if you have the chance to be better than your hero, that would be a bonus as well” – Annice Lyn.
Annice stands as a testament to breaking barriers, both on and off the ice. She’s had the chance to professionally photograph 3 Olympic Games before she hit the age of 30!
As of the time of writing, Annice Lyn is currently the only Malaysian sports photojournalist that has been invited by the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Hungary, Budapest (August 19th 2023 – August 27th 2023).
Sending you all the good vibes from home, Annice!
Thanks for continuously putting Malaysia on the map with your amazing work! You have paved the way for more Malaysian photojournalists to break barriers.