U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Sports Academy Announce National Winners of the 2008 Sport Art Competition
National Winners Advance to the International Competition

Colorado Springs, Colo. — The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the United States Sports Academy (USSA) announced the national winners of the 2008 Sport Art Competition. U.S. artists were allowed to submit sculpture or graphic works with the theme "Sport and Olympism" for consideration in the national phase of the competition which ended February 1, 2008.

The winner in the sculpture category is Edward Eyth for his sculpture titled "Balance." The sculpture depicts a gymnast gracefully poised on a balance beam. Eyth is an internationally known artist whose sculpture "Olympic Spirit" was selected for inclusion in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Landscape Sculpture Design Exhibition.

“The dedication demonstrated by Olympic athletes is extraordinary, particularly when you consider many of them are only teenagers,” Eyth states.  “U.S. champion Shawn Johnson’s all-around mastery of gymnastics provided the primary inspiration for the sculpture.”  Eyth recruited local athletes to model for the piece, and the guidance of an experienced gymnastic coach to help perfect the form.  “’Balance’ portrays the extraordinary agility required for balance beam performance, but it also embodies the seamless ‘balance’ of power and grace exemplified by Olympic competitors.”

The works by Eyth and Kadir Nelson, winner in the graphic category, have been submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Switzerland for consideration in the next phase of the competition. Winners at the international level in each category will receive cash prize awards between $10,000 - $30,000 and their works will be displayed during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.