On the heels of his participation in a historic art project at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, Academy 2003 Sport Artist of the Year Roald Bradstock of Atlanta has been named to chair the newly formed Art Committee of the World Olympic Association (WOA).
The WOA is an organization that works with the 148 National Olympians Associations (NOAs) around the world. The organization is teaming up with Olympian artists to enhance the role of art and culture in the Olympic Movement with the formation of a new Olympic Arts Committee. The committee will support the framework of Olympic Agenda 2020, which calls for greater harmonization of sport and culture, while highlighting the essential role Olympian artists play in spreading the Olympic values worldwide.
The committee will develop Olympian led art projects that will take place during the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games. The projects will aim to promote the Olympic values and the power of sport to make the world a better place.
Bradstock, a two-time Olympian, recently took part in his third Olympic Games in, South Korea. Only this time, the javelin thrower did so as a painter taking part in the historic “Olympic Art Project.”
Bradstock was one of four former Olympians who brought the Olympic values to life through art by coming together with current athletes for the project. Over 17 days, more than 100 Olympians, Bradstock and other artists completed 15 paintings inspired by different Winter Olympic events. The works were shown in the Olympic Village in Gangneung.
Bradstock said the project was the beginning of a movement that aims to reinvigorate the relationship between art and the Olympics, an idea that was promoted by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. Coubertin believed that “the arts and letters, in harmonious combination with sport, shall ensure the greatness of the Olympic Games.”
In fact, medals were given in art and literature from the London Olympics in 1908 to the London Olympics in 1948.
In 2003, Bradstock was honored as Sport Artist of the Year, painter, by the Academy for his unique art style that promotes athletics and for his efforts to unify the Olympics and Paralympics.
“The Academy helped me realize that sport and art are indeed connected,” he said. “Once I realized that, my career took off. And now I’m helping to spearhead events like the ‘Olympic Art Project’ and rekindling these old ideas for a new generation.”
In 2016, Bradstock was appointed executive director of the Art of the Olympians (AOTO), which funds programs that meet and foster its mission of developing art, education, sport and cultural outreach programs to inspire individuals – particularly youth and their communities – to uphold and promote excellence and the highest ethics of humanity.
Bradstock, nicknamed the “Olympic Picasso” by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) because of his ideas of connecting sport and art, is a professional artist with a distinguished career of international competition in javelin. He represented Great Britain at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.
Famous for his sense of humor to increase awareness of athletics and especially of the Olympics, Bradstock has worn colorful outfits and has engaged in demonstrations of throwing various objects other than the javelin, such as golf balls, iPods, phones, and even fish – at the annual Flora-Bama Mullet Toss on the Florida-Alabama coastal border.