2008 Olympic Sculpture Exhibition

Documented as “the largest solicitation for sculptures in Olympic history,” the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad selected from among 2,433 entrants worldwide for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Exhibition.  The selected works were determined after careful evaluation by a panel of 17 domestic and foreign experts from the U.K., Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria, U.S.A, and South Korea.


Juan Antonio Samaranch views a photograph of one of the selected works “Olympic Spirit,” by American sculptor Edward Eyth.

(BEIJING, March 25) -- Juan Antonio Samaranch, born July 17, 1920 in Barcelona, Spain, was President of IOC from 1980 to 2001, and since then he has been the Honorary President for Life of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his contribution to the Olympic cause.  This morning Samaranch visited a preliminary exhibit of works selected from the 2008 Olympic Landscape Sculpture Design Competition.

The 86-year-old former IOC President was accompanied by Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Li Meng and Chairman of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, He Zhenliang.


Artist/sculptor Edward Eyth gained international recognition earlier this year when a piece he designed was accepted for inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Landscape Sculpture Design Exhibition.  Eyth is one of only 8 Americans selected from a field of over 2,400 international entrants from 82 countries and regions. 
His work, titled “Olympic Spirit,” depicts the five ring Olympic symbol (representing the five continents) being elevated by two athletes, one male and one female.  The male figure is positioned powerfully, both feet planted firmly on the ground symbolizing strength, vitality and a connection to the earth.  His expression conveys a sense of forceful determination, concentration and willpower.   The female figure is skillfully balanced on her left foot, right leg rising up; with her head directed upward toward the sky.  Her gesture is one of effortless grace, symbolizing the poise and triumphant resolve that elevates an accomplished competitor to victory.

“My intention was to commemorate the nobility of hard work and determination exemplified by Olympic athletes, while providing a solid structure for symbolic interpretations of the broader themes and dynamic elements that unite countries of the world in the spirit of the Olympics.  Ultimately the sculpture represents the extraordinary efforts required in the building of one’s own destiny, and the destiny of one’s culture.”

An international tour of the 110 finalist sculptures has included exhibitions in Rome, Barcelona, Moscow, Seoul, Hong Kong, Geneva and cities across China.  The competition will conclude in May, 2008, when 29 gold, silver and bronze prizes (Beijing’s Olympiad will be the 29th) will be awarded to the winning artists.  Winning sculptures will be recommended as prospective landscape sculpture installations in Beijing or other cities.