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Sport’s Team GB covers
Cover story

Sport’s Team GB covers

London’s free sports magazine Sport celebrates its tenth birthday next month. As the Rio Olympics get going, we asked art director John Mahood to look back at their front covers starring members of Team GB. Here are his favourite five.


Mo Farah, photographed by Hamish Brown
An exceptionally fun day on set, Mo is a bundle of energy and a joy to direct. The most difficult thing about this shoot was narrowing the selects down to pick a cover, there were too many great images to choose from. We gave the shoot a carnival feel with the ticker tape and yellow backdrop, which was inspired by painting on a food truck near the Sport office. Apologies to whoever swept up afterwards as we dropped three hundred thousand pieces.


Jessica Ennis-Hill, photographed by Jon Enoch
We ventured up to Don Valley in April 2012 to shoot this cover with Jess. She was under a huge amount of pressure in the lead up to the London Olympics, this did come through in a lot of shots from this session. On the way to the venue we passed three huge billboards with her face on them, a drive she would have to make daily on the way to training. It takes a special person to deal with that level of expectation. Jon has a real talent for getting intimate portraits, this is one of my favourites that he has shot for us.


Usain Bolt, photographed by Tom Oldham
This was shot at the end of a training session at Brunel University on a gloriously sunny day (the shadow is 100% real). I’d been lucky enough to watch Usain win gold in 2012, but it was a real privilege to watch him sprint at close quarters. Tom Oldham has probably shot Usain more than any other photographer, so there’s a lovely rapport that exists between them and makes the process simpler and means gets you good shots from the start.


Dina Asher-Smith, photographed by Graham Hughes
Dina is one to watch out for at Rio in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. She had only been on a couple of shoots before, but she was a dream to shoot. An absolute natural in front of the camera, and remarkably confident for someone so young. Dina is a difficult one: I wanted to make it quite a fun shoot as she’s a bubbly character. We shot some images showing off her muscle power, but the softer shots were better for the cover.


Greg Rutherford, photographed by Shamil Tanna
This weeks cover is the second time we’ve shot Greg and he’s dream. However, this wasn’t the easiest shoot to do, we had product supplied by brands that just didn’t come anywhere close to fitting his frame. This happens quite a lot with athletes as their frames are much bigger in places, especially around the thighs. The screaming shots were the last frames shot on the day.

Sport turns 10 on 29 September. The magazine is distributed at Tube stations across London every Friday, and available to download for free for iOS, Kindle and Android at

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