Painting as an Olympic sport? Whoda thunk it?

Apparently so. You learn something new every day…

From 1912 until 1948, art competitions in architecture, literature, painting, music and sculpture were a part of the Summer Games. And it wasn’t even an abbertation – it was the idea of the founder of the modern games - Pierre de Coubertin. And furthermore, it wasn’t eliminated because it wasn’t athletic - it was eliminated because the artists were deemed to be professionals! (As an aside, since we now allow pros in the Olympics, should we bring these back?)

The winner of the 1928 architecture award was the guy who designed the stadium that the 1928 games were held in - for that very stadium!

Could you see this today?

Announcer:Ross’ technique is amazing. Look at those bold strokes. I swear, those trees look really happy!

Announcer2: Yes, Tom. Of course, we all remember the dramatic finish in last year’s Olympics. It looked like Ross was going to lose, but I don’t think any of our viewers will ever forget that great Olympic moment when he pulled out a last minute victory with his pretty little mountains.


Announcer: OK, we’re here at the drama literature competition. It’s been a tough competition for the gold. Some of the writers have been furiously pounding away at their word processors. The worst moment so far was when gold-medal hopeful John Grisham misspelled the term “Subpoena Duces Tecum” in his 32nd paragraph, causing a mandatory 5 point loss. Scott Turow capitilized on that mistake and has taken the lead.


Announcer: Welcome to the Athens Music Center where we’re going to rock with today’s musical competition. Today’s lineup includes Courtney Love, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna (or is it Esther nowadays?) and Michael Jackson ready to sing “I’m bad!” The USA looks good for the gold here, and, with the UK has dominated this competition for the last 20 years.

Zev Steinhardt