Artwork Produced by Olympians on Display at Lake Placid Legacy Sites
Artwork created by Olympians from around the world is on display at Lake Placid’s venues following a new partnership established between the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (Olympic Authority), the Al Oerter Foundation (AOF), and its affiliate organization, Art of the Olympians (AOTO).
The announcement was made jointly Friday morning at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid during the World Figure and Fancy Skating Championship. The cooperative agreement between the organizations paves the way for paintings, photos, sculptures, and other art forms produced by Olympians to be exhibited at Olympic Authority venues.
AOF is a not-for-profit organization that manages programming for AOTO. The latter, founded by New Yorker and four-time gold medalist in track and field, Al Oerter, has been exhibiting artwork by Olympians since 2006. Al Oerter succumbed to health issues in 2007, and his wife Cathy Oerter has led the organization’s national and international program efforts since then.
“This is an outstanding opportunity to engage visitors from across the globe, including many who have diverse interests beyond sport,” says Ashley Walden, Olympic Authority President & CEO. “The spirit of the Games and the philosophy of Olympism have always included art, culture, and education along with sport. This new partnership will serve to elevate art within our venues, reminding all of us that sport can be part of a well-rounded life. In doing so, the initiative will help more people discover all that our Olympic Village truly stands for.”
“I am thrilled about this opportunity to expand our exhibits and programming into the Olympic venues in Lake Placid,” says AOF Chairwoman Cathy Oerter. “The region’s rich Olympic history and newly transformed venues make it a place that inspires big dreams in athletes and in everyone who visits. What better place to demonstrate the connection between sport and art and celebrate the Olympic values and ideals. Our organization is most grateful for the enthusiastic support and partnership afforded to us by the Olympic Authority and the State of New York.”
Parts of the organization’s art collection sustained damage one year ago when Hurricane Ian slammed into the Fort Myers region. The agreement with the Olympic Authority now provides AOF/AOTO a secure, fitting, northern home base to showcase this collection of international art. Initially, a significant portion of the collection will be on display in a gallery space adjacent Roamer’s Café in the Olympic Center’s Miracle Plaza, and as more pieces are displayed, a list of the artworks and their locations around Olympic Authority venues will be made available on the Lake Placid Legacy Sites website.
Notable Olympians whose artwork graces the AOF/AOTO collection include AOF Executive Director and Great Britain Olympian Roald Bradstock, U.S. gold medalist Bob Beamon, Switzerland’s Jean-Blaise Evequoz, U.S. figure skating gold medalist Peggy Fleming, Australian Shane Gould, France’s Kader Klouchi, Italy’s Emanuela Pierantozzi, and many more.
The agreement with the Olympic Authority is the second notable partnership by AOF. Two years ago, AOF formed a collaborative effort with the Pierre de Coubertin Family Association, named for the famed co-founder of the modern Olympics. The two organizations recently announced plans for an educational and cultural arts program in Paris during the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. With the two partnerships now in place, art exhibits and activities promoting Olympic values and ideals will be held in France and the United States.
Olympic Regional Development Authority Media Contact: Jaime Collins, [email protected]
Al Oerter Foundation/Art of the Olympians Media Contact: Cathy Oerter, 239-313-3048, [email protected]
ABOUT THE OLYMPIC AUTHORITY
Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (Olympic Authority) was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid. The Olympic Authority operates Whiteface, Belleayre, and Gore Mountains, Mt Van Hoevenberg, the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, the Olympic Jumping Complex, and the Olympic Center. As host to international, national, regional, and local events, the Olympic Authority’s venues are destinations and economic catalysts of the regions it serves.
ABOUT THE AL OERTER FOUNDATION / ART OF THE OLYMPIANS
The Al Oerter Foundation (AOF) and its program organization – Art of the Olympians (AOTO) – is a chartered Fort Myers, Florida not-for-profit foundation created in 2006 by four-time gold medalist Al Oerter. Through Olympian and Paralympian artists, AOF/AOTO uniquely couples art exhibitions with education by providing programs of art, education, sport, and cultural outreach – both nationally and internationally – to inspire individuals and communities to uphold the virtues of the Olympic ideals.