Greek-American distance runner and filmmaker Alexi Pappas.

Athletes Chosen to Take Part in Arts Residency for 2018 Winter Olympics

British javelin thrower Roald Bradstock, American biathlete Lanny Barnes, Greek American distance runner Alexi Pappas, and Swiss fencer Jean-Blaise Evéquoz have been selected as artists-in-residence for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, writes Talya Minsberg of the New York Times.

From 1912 to 1948, the International Olympics Committee held a competition concurrent with the athletic games where gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to artists who made work in the categories of architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. Agenda 2020, an initiative established four years ago by the committee, has created an arts residency program to revive this legacy and underline the importance of art within the history of the Olympics (writer Tilman Spengler, French graffiti artist JR, and video artist Gerald Andal were the residency’s inaugural participants). “Art and culture is part of the DNA of the Olympic Movement,” said Francis Gabet, director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage. 

Bradstock, Barnes, and Evéquoz will supervise the creation of sixteen paintings by athletes taking part in the Olympics. Pappas is the only resident who will compete in the games—she will continue to train throughout her residency. With her fiancée, Jeremy Teicher, she codirected and cowrote the movie Trackdown (2016).