This unique partnership between the Olympic Regional Development Authority and the Al Oerter Foundation (AOF)/Art of the Olympians (AOTO) is a powerful demonstration of the connection between sport, culture, and art. It is through the works provided by Art of the Olympians and displayed at Lake Placid Legacy Sites, that we elevate art while celebrating the artists and all Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
Olympic Authority & Art of the Olympians Announce Partnership (Click here to view the October 6th media release available beginning October 6 at 11:00 am)
The legacy of the 1980 Olympic Games goes far beyond the field of play. The arts program during those Games featured dance, music, photography, poetry, storytelling, sculpture, both temporary and permanent public art, theatre, and more. It was at the time was the most diverse arts festival ever held at an Olympics. The link below offers a comprehensive guide to many of the permanent public art installations commissioned by the Lake Placid Arts Committee that can still be viewed in Lake Placid:
The World Figure and Fancy Skating Championships incorporate art into the event while also coinciding chronologically with the announcement of the Olympic Authority/ AOF / AOTO partnership.
Announcement Speaker Bios
Ashley Walden – Ashley Walden is the new President and CEO of the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority. A former Olympic Luge Athlete at the highest levels in the sport, Ashley competed in the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. Most recently, she served as the director of the Adirondack Sports Council. That’s the organization that led the collaborative planning effort for the 2023 FISU Winter World University Games, a multi-sport event involving 46 countries and over 600 universities and Lake Placid’s largest event since the 1980 Olympics. Before that, she was director of sport and operations for USA Bobsled and Skeleton, the sports’ national governing body. While there, she led a recruiting and development effort to support growth and top performance for the nation’s athletes in both those sports and also served as a leader for the team during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Her dedication to serving athletes and the community, her demonstrated leadership skills, and her global sports management experience are tremendous assets for the Olympic Authority as we advance into a bold new era with renewed venues and a resplendent array of possibilities before us.
Cathy Oerter – Cathy Oerter is the CEO of the Al Oerter Foundation and Chair of its affiliate organization, the Art of the Olympians. Cathy was a track and field standout at Iowa State University whose running and long-jumping abilities not only won her All-America honors in four events but also started the women’s track program at her alma mater and in doing so helped create one of the greatest college track dynasties in the 1970s. All that was before going on to compete internationally on several US teams. With degrees in both Applied Art and Advertising Design as well as in Art Education, Cathy holds credentials from both the art and sports worlds. In 2006 she co-founded the Art of the Olympians organization with her husband Al Oerter, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in the discuss. Through her ongoing work with both the Foundation and the Art of the Olympians, Cathy has dedicated much of her time and energy to community service and to fostering character and integrity through the arts and sport.
Art Lussi – Art Lussi hails from Lake Placid and has been part of the Olympic Authority Board of Directors since 2017. A former alpine skier and NCAA Competitor for Dartmouth College, Art participated in the World Winter University Games in Jasna, Czechoslovakia, in 1987 and was named Alpine Captain for that event. He joined the New York State Bar in 1989 and the District of Columba Bar in 1990, while also coaching ski racing in Vail, Colorado. Art then returned to Lake Placid and has been president of the local Crowne Plaza Hotel since 1991. In addition to also working on Lake Placid’s Comprehensive Plan in the mid 1990’s, Art has also coached ski racing with the New York Ski Educational Foundation since 1991. Additionally, he’s served as that organization’s chairperson for 10 years as well as serving on the Adirondack Park Agency Board since 2006. As an Adirondack 46er and someone who has given tremendously of his time and talent for these many volunteer positions supporting the Adirondack Park, Art is someone who genuinely loves these mountains and appreciates the balance between economic development and environmental conservation. Everyone, please welcome, Art Lussi.
Roald Bradstock – Roald Bradstock is the Executive Director of the Al Oerter Foundation. Roald is a two-time Olympic javelin thrower, representing Great Britain in 1984 and 1988. Having earned a degree in studio art from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Roald began a successful career as a freelance illustrator and full time artist. However, Roald was not finished with competition and in 2000, he won gold in the painting division of the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport Art competition. In 2003, he also won the prestigious International Sports Artist of the year award and in 2005 was appointed the first ever official artist for USA Track & Field. Known as the Olympic Picasso, Roald dedicated himself to advancing the connection between sport and art and to passionately pursuing his life’s goal of uniting the athletic side of the Olympics with the cultural, just as the founder of the modern Olympics Pierre de Coubertin envisioned. A vision also shared by the Al Oerter Foundation.