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Athletes Turned Artists: Former Olympians Keep Tradition Alive Through Online Exhibit

BEIJING (KXAN) — A group of former Olympians is keeping up with tradition. Their Olympic Agora art project celebrates the values the Games embodies and showcases sport and culture. 

The group is made up of seven retired Olympians who express through art what the best athletes in the world can relate to.

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“The first thing that comes to mind is persistence,” said Christopher Coleman, who represented Team USA twice in bobsledding.

The Olympic Agora project launched before the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, making a return for Beijing 2022. The series has been described as “where sport meets art and culture.”

“Being an Olympic athlete of any kind, of any sport is a really difficult, serious thing, and it’s hard to do that — we’re doing it for fun,” said two-time Olympic skier Laurenne Ross.

“I’ve been using a lot of athletic figures on my pieces and trying to collage them within this whole scope of the scene,” she explained.

Each artist expresses their own Olympic ideals through their work, which ranges from photographs to paintings or even graphic design. It’s all displayed in an exhibition online to showcase the broader impact of the Games.

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“I love to have balance in my life, as an athlete, as an artist, as a lawyer. I love trying to find that balance, which I think all Olympians do,” said four-time Olympic luge athlete Cameron Myler.

Finding that balance is always a journey, but that’s the beauty of this project. There’s no real beginning or end — just a vibrant safe space celebrating cultural differences that unite us. 

Get the latest on how our Texans are doing in the Olympics by signing up for push alerts on the KXAN News App and our More Than The Score newsletter. Join us at noon every weekday for our stream highlighting memorable moments and KXAN’s team in Beijing.

This project also includes two live events led by Olympic artists. The next one is Feb. 16. The goal is to get kids involved in exploring Olympic values through creative expression.

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