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Achieving an Olympic dream through art at Lausanne 2020

Christopher Page
23 Nov 2019
Olympic News, YOG, Lausanne 2020, Legacy
New Zealand’s Zakea Page tells the secrets behind his winning design for the Winter YOG Lausanne 2020 medal competition, entitled “Beauty in Diversity”.

The ultimate goal of all Olympians is for a gold medal to sit around their neck whilst atop the podium, but it’s easy to forget about the work that goes into the creation of one of sport’s greatest awards.

Zakea Page is a young artist from New Zealand who is responsible for the artwork of the medals to be used at the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020. He first heard about the Olympic medal design competition in the build-up to the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, but it took until this year for his work to be selected for use at Lausanne 2020.

Page has been following the Olympic Games since a young age, and now being heavily involved in the Olympic Movement has allowed him to pursue his dreams.

“The first time I watched the Games was the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 when I saw hockey and I thought, ‘I want to play for New Zealand and represent them at the Olympic Games’,” Page told “I was really inspired by watching the Games growing up and, being an athlete myself, my dream was always an Olympic medal.

During his nomadic childhood, Page was a talented young athlete and represented Vietnam in hockey internationally while living there during his childhood. Finally, though, he had to decide between focusing his time on art or sport in order to make the best decision for his future.

“I found that I was trying to compete at both a high level of art and sport, and I felt that I was neither getting the galleries and the deals that I needed as an artist, nor was I making the teams as a hockey player,” he explains. “I made the decision [to focus on art] last year and that felt like my Olympic dream over.”

My dream is to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games with my art practice. It’s my ultimate life ambition Zakea Page New Zealand

But that decision didn’t prevent Page from remaining involved in the Olympic Games in another capacity. After falling short in the medal design for the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, he redoubled his efforts for the competition ahead of Lausanne 2020.

“I was pretty gutted when I lost out last time and so for the whole of this year, ever since I lost the first design, it was always in the back of my mind. Different designs I could use for it, looking out on the street, looking at different posters [for inspiration] – I had it at the back of my mind constantly trying to figure it out.”

Eventually, he found the winning formula and submitted his design. A panel of judges, including the President of Lausanne 2020, Virginie Faivre, was responsible for the final selection, and almost 300 entries were received from 60 different nations.

Page’s design is entitled “Beauty in Diversity” and features an icy spiral which represents “a culture of respect, friendship and excellence”. Page will now travel to the Winter YOG in January and receive a full set of medals to cherish for himself.

Page’s dream was always to represent his country on the Olympic stage, which he has now done, albeit not through the conventional means. But he hasn’t stopped dreaming yet. The New Zealander is grateful that his medal design was chosen, but has now set his sights even higher for the future.

“My dream is to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games with my art practice. It’s my ultimate life ambition.”

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