True to the roots of the Olympic spirit, the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C) has brought back a marriage of art and sport for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.
Four Olympians have travelled to South Korea, not to compete, but as resident artists.
The four have all competed in previous games but will be bringing a different skillset to South Korea for this year’s Olympics.
New Artists, Old Traditions
This focus on art aligns with the birth of the modern Olympics. According to the Smithsonian, from 1912 to 1948, the Olympic Games awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals for five non-athletic categories: painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, and music.
Since then, art has not been a major part of the Olympic Games. Until 2014.
The I.O.C. created an initiative called the Agenda 2020 in 2014, part of which includes a resident artist program. As discussed in the New York Times, it included JR, a street artist from France, Gerald Andal, a Vine star from the USA, and Tilman Spengler, a German writer. Francis Gabet, director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage is continuing the program now in 2018.
Four Resident Artists of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics:
Roald Bradstock– Javelin Thrower & Painter, England
Back at the end of August 1981 here I am just after throwing 79.18m at the European Juniors. I came second to some East German called Uwe Hohn that threw 86m!!!!!! Happy throw back Thursay. 🤓 #Bradstock #Roald #roaldbradstock #javelin #track #trackandfield #tracknation #thrower #throwernation #ioc #international #european #europeanchampionship #junior #olympics #olympian #futureolympian #olympicpicasso
Alexi Pappis – Distance Runner & Filmmaker, Greece (Resides in USA)
Lanny Barnes – Biathlete & Painter, USA
Whoo-hoo, headed to the Olympics! Really, really excited for this opportunity to head to PyeongChang as one of 4 artists from around the world to produce artwork during the games. #olympicart The Olympian Artist, #TheOlympianArtist, #Lanny_Oakley, #Lannyoakley https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2018%2F02%2F05%2Fstyle%2Folympics-artists-in-residence-program.html%3Frref%3Dcollection%252Fnewseventcollection%252Fwinter-olympics-2018&data=02%7C01%7C%7C6e1e84adb6ca4126329d08d56c8dd495%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636534278773863322&sdata=D2Iv8FhGhfDZkdgMLYlT71O7JzCm372lZZlN5%2BeU3Nw%3D&reserved=0 ##hivizsights #jprifles #stiinternational #mgmtargets #undertechundercover #smith #lowa #511tactical #hoguegrips Fiocchi Ammunition, #webertactical #camelbak , #camelbaktactical #taccom3g #dissidentarms #babeswithbullets #twinbiathletes #shakleeathlete @lanny_oakley
Jean-Blaise Evéquoz – Fencer & Painter/Specialist in Charcoal, Switzerland
This element of the Olympics is powerful, and add complexity to the characters of the athletes that we see on the world stage. Alexi is the only one of the four still currently competing as a professional athlete.
— Talya Minsberg (@tminsberg) February 6, 2018