MinaPicMina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, renowned Greek artist and the United States Sports Academy’s 2002 Sport Artist of the Year, was honored at the 32nd Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) Festival of Milan in December 2014 and the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) event in January 2015 as the Sport Artist of the Year.

During the FICTS Festival opening ceremony Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki was awarded Sports Artist of the Year by the President of the Festival, Franco Ascani, member of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Cultural and Educational Committee.

This is especially significant because it is the first time for the IOC to honor an artist worldwide. This award’s intention is to recognize and give tribute to an internationally recognized artist whose rich work in a sports theme interprets the athletic figure and goes beyond imagination and boundaries. Ms. Valyraki was chosen as the first recipient because her portfolio of work captures the body and fluidity of movement of the athlete as they break through limitations to “freedom.”

The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) also honored Ms. Papatheodorou-Valyraki with the “IOC Trophy 2014 – Art and Sport.” The HOC President, Spyros Capralos, presented the award to Ms. Valyraki at the HOC Headquarters in Athens, Greece. The artist’s sports works were exhibited during the event.

“I look upon Mina Valyraki as one of the very best sport artists that the Academy has honored in the past 25 years. This recognition by the FICTS and the IOC is richly deserved,” said Dr. Rosandich.

The United States Sports Academy features many of her pieces at the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) on the campus in Daphne, Ala.