And the winner of the 400 metres pretentiousness is...
August 1, 2006 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Between 1912 and 1948, one could win an Olympic medal by excelling in creativity rather than athletics. Works contending in this "Pentathlon of the Muses" had to be sport-related, though: see for example this gold-winning drawing by Jean Jacoby. Perhaps the most famous Olympic artist is Oliver St. John Gogarty (Google cache), after whom Joyce's character of Buck Milligan was modelled. In later years, the tradition was incorporated into the concept of a Cultural Olympiad held alongside the main event.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here is a list of the 1928 medalists with pictures (in Dutch). A full list of winners.

Post title borrowed from this blog entry.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:35 AM on August 1, 2006

My sister won an honorary gold medal in art for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 -- she won the national competition to design one of the official posters. (I've tried to find the image online before, but my google-fu failed me.)
posted by scody at 9:18 AM on August 1, 2006

Wow. I had never heard of that before. And that winning drawing of rugby players suggest to me that it wasn't an ultra-competitive artistic competition.

Thanks for the links.
posted by dios at 1:19 PM on August 1, 2006

Do the artists have to undergo drug tests?
Sorry, slight derail. Nice post gnfti
posted by Cranberry at 2:34 PM on August 1, 2006

Very cool.... I had never heard of the pentathalon of the muses before. Odd that the main article didn't mention the main modern cultural showcase of the games though: the opening ceremonies, and the musical work that is commissioned for them each games. That's probably because the only thing the networks ever play is John William's 1984 Olympic Fanfare and Theme.
posted by gsteff at 4:52 PM on August 1, 2006

« Older I'm not kidding. I DO kinda feel sick right now.....   |   Rabbit, rabbit Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments