Roald Bradstock, the "Olympic Picasso" has Ambitious Art Project for London 2012

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Roald Bradstock, the "Olympic Picasso" has Ambitious Art Project for London 2012
Roald Bradstock, sporting his colorful suits at a track and field meet. Photo: Gary Giddens.

WASHINGTON.- Veteran javelin thrower Roald Bradstock, nicknamed the Olympic Picasso by BBC commentator Paul Dickenson hopes to bind sport and art together in an ambitious project for London 2012.

“The principle is to promote athletes through imagery, which transcends language and cultures,” said Bradstock. “It is branding 2012 through imagery. I remember
watching the art exhibition at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics called The Five Rings and I felt very disconnected. The various paintings and sculptures did not make any sense to me and I’m an artist!

“What I want to do is include people in the build up to 2012 and get them directly involved.”

In 1968 he watched Bob Beamon, Dick Fosbury and Al Oerter of the USA all win Olympic Gold. He was truly inspired and knew then, at age six, that he wanted to be an Olympian.

One month later he was diagnosed with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and his parents were told that he would never be an athlete and that he should avoid playing sports at all costs.

Undeterred, he began his Olympic journey both as an athlete and as an artist. He trained hard, sought out the best coaching and developed a unique throwing technique to work around his physical limitations.

Images have always played an important role in his life. The photographs and drawings document his journey and his artistic progression from his first notebook drawings and self-created Play-Doh soldiers in 1968 at age six to his high school drawings and to his present day creations.

Roald describes his style of sports art as "athletic abstraction"". He creates a sporting image and overlays multiple lines and shapes which symbolize the repetition of exercises and movements that athletes practice to perfect their sport. The resulting image is designed to create a visual feeling of an athlete training and competition experience.

In October 2005 at the USA Track and Field coaches conference, Olympic icon Al Oerter asked him to join a small but elite group of Olympic artists called "Art of The Olympians".

"Art of The Olympians" is an Olympic revival movement bringing back Pierre de Coubertin's, the founder of the modern Olympics, original vision of celebrating both sport and art.

In March 2006 he was honored to be part of the first "Art of The Olympians" exhibition in Fort Meyers, Florida. Other Olympian artists included Bob Beamon, Florence Griffith-Joyner and Al Oerter. In November 2006 "Art of The Olympians" had three exhibitions in New York City: The National Arts Club, The New York Athletic Club and The United Nations.

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