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Exploring the relationship between sport and art

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Exploring the relationship between sport and art

Sport and art are very different disciplines. Can they really be connected?

Growing up, Roald Bradstock had a keen interest in both sport and art. He later become an Olympic javelin thrower, representing Great Britain in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, and gained a degree in art. However, he used to think these activities were very different and not very compatible, as he explained on day two of the Peace and Sport Forum in Monaco.

This lack of compatibility caused him some difficulties. He struggled for years with being both an artist and an athlete – the two disciplines both take a lot of time and energy.

That has now changed. Nicknamed as “the Olympic Picasso”, he produces creative depictions of sporting scenes and colourful representations of equipment.

Bradstock’s attitude changed around the year 2000 when entered a competition held by the United States Olympic Committee. His painting, “Struggle for Perfection”, was chosen as the winner and featured in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He then did more research. He discovered that Pierre de Coubertin, co-founder of the modern Olympic Games, was an artist. Coubertin designed the Olympic rings himself, and won a poetry competition in 1912.

Nine-time Olympic swimming champion Mark Spitz – one of Bradstock’s idols during the 1970s – was a painter. Muhammed Ali used to paint, as did Pele.

You can find further connections if you look at major sporting events. The most sought after tickets are not for the sports events themselves but for the opening and closing ceremonies. The Super Bowl features a heavily anticipated half-time show.

Bradstock started to realise that art is everywhere in sport – logos, typography, mascots, cups and medals all have to be designed by someone. These discoveries changed his point of view and he began to combine sport and art in his life.

He started painting his outfits, javelins and javelin runways. He began to throw all kinds of objects and even broke some records – “some official, some unofficial and some highly questionable”. He became known for his eccentric outfits which people started to want to know what he would do, throw and wear next.

Bradstock now believes sport and art are perfect partners. They can be a powerful combination for use in advocacy and development programmes.

Combining sport and art in a new way is a fantastic tool. They are two universal languages to create platform to unite everyone for peace.




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Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 15:42

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