Four Olympians are in PyeongChang not to compete but to create new works of art – and they’re looking for current athletes to lend a hand…
Olympism and art have gone hand in hand ever since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Games, famously said that “the arts and letters, in harmonious combination with sport, shall ensure the greatness of the Olympic Games” – and now, the IOC’s new Olympic Art Project is inviting athletes in PyeongChang to bring sport and art together in perfect harmony.
Over the next fortnight, four Olympians are matching Olympism with art in two exciting new projects. And no matter when your competition begins and ends, they’d love you to join them and take part.
Caught on camera
Alexi Pappas took her first Olympic bow two years ago, setting a Greek national record in the 10,000m. But the Rio Games weren’t her only debut that year – in 2016, she also released her first feature film! Pappas starred in, co-wrote and co-directed Tracktown, the acclaimed story of a long-distance runner who finds love on a rare day off from training.
Two years on, Pappas and her partner Jeremy Teicher are in PyeongChang with actor Nick Kroll to make a series of short films inspired by the Olympic values – and they want Olympic athletes to join the cast by participating in short acting scenes in the Olympic Villages. “We will be breaking new ground with this project,” says Pappas, “allowing all people to experience the Olympic values through an artistic lens like never before.”
Alongside the short films, Pappas and Teicher are also making ten short documentary clips showing Pappas’s twin lives as an athlete in training and an artist in residence at the Games. The clips will go online every other day during the Games, and you can watch them on Alexi’s Instagram and Youtube channels @alexipappas.
Captured on canvas
If you’re camera-shy away from competition, don’t worry. Three Olympians have just started a new visual art project in PyeongChang, and they need your help to make it happen.
Former javelin star Roald Bradstock, Olympic bronze medal-winning Swiss fencer Jean-Blaise Evéquoz and American biathlete Lanny Barnes are leading daily painting workshops in the Olympic Village in Gangneung. Resident athletes are invited to help them create 15 new Olympic-inspired paintings, one per winter Olympic discipline, during the Games. The completed set will then form one painting revealing the Olympic values, which are at the heart of this initiative.
“The project will focus on and celebrate the Olympic athlete, giving Olympians an opportunity to show their creative side,” says Bradstock. “It is a project about Olympians, created by Olympians for Olympians.”
You can also engage with both initaitives on social media, using the hashtag #OlympicArt