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Jean-Blaise Evequoz

Sedrick Nemeth
20 Mar 2018
Olympic Art Project
Born in Sion (SUI), Jean-Blaise, as known as JBE is a Swiss fencer and an artist. He won a bronze medal in fencing at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games.

After law school, he then decided to become a painter and became a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Florence. With the athlete Al Oerter, he was one of the initiators of the Art of Olympians movement, which brings together former Olympic athletes converted to art. “I never left my Latin motto already at the time of my first training sessions: Mens sana in corpore sano. A healthy mind in a healthy body”.

He never stopped practicing fencing and now he accompanies the talented youngsters in world cups and shoots with young people to stimulate them. “Sport had taught me that talent without work is a dirty mania. I live only for painting, and for me it's a wonderful adventure that continues with the Games, and that allows me to share my passion with the same energy as Olympians”. He is now recognised as a professional artist, he exhibits his art all around the world.

This experience offers Olympian artists an opportunity to promote the shared values between sport and art. Jean Blaise Evequoz
What do you think about this experience? What is your overall opinion/feeling?

For me, it was simply incredible to be invited by the IOC to the Games in Korea. I felt like an athlete in Montreal all over again. I’ve managed to get to the Olympic Games, but I want a medal! The success of this first experience was extremely important for me. As I was making my way out the Village, being congratulated by people who had put their trust in me, it felt like I was leaving with a medal around my neck.

How did the athlete react when they met you on the field? Did they participate?

This experience offers Olympian artists an opportunity to promote the shared values between sport and art. The enthusiasm of the IOC and WOA members really added to my sense of accomplishment. I look forward to continuing work on this amazing challenge.

According to you, did the athlete respond well to this art initiative?

Given that this was the first time it had been done, I think we showed that there was very much a place for this programme, and that it has enormous potential. All the athletes who took part in our project expressed their enthusiasm and said how much they enjoyed themselves. It’s really encouraging for the future. 

Will this project change the way you apprehend Olympic Art in the future ?

I’m convinced we’ve opened a door that will remain open. De Coubertin’s ideal was art and sport. I’m confident that this idea will continue to gain ground thanks to the information given to all the federations and athletes in the Village, and I will keep working to make sure that this happens.

What was your most challenging moment?

The real challenge was to succeed in opening the door for the future. The manner in which the venture was welcomed by the IOC and the WOA is proof of its merits. I left Korea extremely content and convinced that this is merely the start; there’s a lot still to do, but it’s incredible to have had the opportunity for trust to be placed in you, and to have been up to the task.

And your most memorable moment? The moment you will keep in mind.

I have so many fond memories that it’s difficult to choose. I’d say being welcomed onto the stage at the official IOC Session. I felt like I was part of this big family, not only because of my medal, but also because of the friendships I’ve made. And being there through my passion for art was simply magical.

What are your biggest takeaways?

I wouldn’t change anything about this amazing experience. It wasn’t easy to set up and develop the project, but such difficulties only make it more rewarding. Any athlete will tell you that.

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