Las Vegas Sun photographer Sam Morris won first place Sunday in the sports feature category in the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition.
Morris captured this shot of battered heavyweight Mark Coleman and his daughters after the Pride Fighting Championships in October. As the crowd filed out of the Thomas & Mack Center, the two girls were lifted into the ring, and the bloodied Coleman tried to calm them. He embraced them while caressing their hair and repeating over and over that, "Daddy's OK, Daddy's OK."
Morris is an Iowa native who joined the Sun eight years ago. He also has won several awards in the Nevada Press Association contest and first place in the APNEC contest for his coverage of events in Las Vegas surrounding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Pictures of the Year International draws tens of thousands of entries from photographers around the world. This is the first time the Sun has won an award in POYi. The results of the judging are released over three weeks. The winning sports photographs were the first ones released.
The Missouri School of Journalism administers the contest, with additional financial support from Fujifilm, MSNBC and National Geographic.