Visa International announced that “Racing With the Dolphins” by Sun-ik Kim from Korea was named as the Grand Prizewinner of the Visa Olympics of the Imagination 23-nation youth art competition. Sun-ik and one of his parents will attend the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Utah, USA, as guests of Visa.
Visa Olympics of the Imagination challenged school children, ages 9-13, to use their imaginations to create an original piece of art that represented what the Olympic motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius” meant to them. The program ran in from late 1999 through June 2000 in most countries. Over 400,000 entries were received.
Sun-ik was selected by renowned Australian artist Ken Done, VOI’s special Ambassador and Artist-in-Residence during the Olympic Games. “I had seen VOI before and I was really struck by the high quality and joy of it,” said Ken. “This piece of artwork reminds people of the absolute ideals of the Games.” His selection was announced at the Awards Ceremony at the VOI Exhibit which is located just outside the IMAX Theatre in Darling Harbour. The children’s winning art will be on display during the entire Olympic Games, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.
The medals were awarded to the children by IOC president Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, Olympians Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner. Olympians Prince Albert of Monaco, Kip Janvrin, Deng Ya Ping, and the Olympic Mascots were also in attendance. A number of Ambassadors, Consuls and other VIP guests attended to congratulate the children.
“The selection of the grand prizewinner was very challenging because all of the artwork is superb,” said P. Scot Smythe, Visa International’s Vice President of Event Marketing. “The exhibit, containing the 33 pieces of artwork, is extremely impressive and it reinforces our belief in the talent and awareness of today’s children in not only the Olympic Movement, but the world they live in. Visa is proud to exhibit to Olympic visitors the talent of our winners.”
The winners of the program and a parent or guardian are attending the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as the guests of Visa in Sydney, Australia, and will be here until September 19. The winners will attend three Olympic events, Men’s Gymnastics, Men’s Basketball and Women’s Beach Volleyball, as well as receive special tours of Sydney, the Taronga Zoo, and the Sydney Aquarium. Additionally, the winners will have the opportunity to put their artistic talents to use when they paint Olympic Athletes on September 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Doltone Reception Centre at Darling Island, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, adjacent to the Sydney Media Centre. A number of Olympic athletes will model for the children and will be available to answer any questions the children may have.
VOI winners were selected from Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Czech Republic, Curacao, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, United States and Uruguay.
Photos of the winning artwork can be viewed by accessing the VOI Web site . Artwork of past winners and periodic updates on Sydney activities can also be viewed through the Web site. Eighty-two young artists from 28 countries already have attended Olympic Summer and Winter Games as guests of Visa over the past three Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway; Atlanta, Georgia, USA and Nagano, Japan. Visa received more than 400,000 entries for the 2000 Olympic Games program. Judging was based on originality, imagination, artistic merit, and how well their art captured the ideals of the Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stronger).
Originally, the Olympic Games were as much a matter of art as athleticism, with poets, musicians, painters and sculptors competing for medals alongside athletes. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, was keen to revive the link and in 1906 awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for five artistic competitions. Because of the two world wars, these contests were held only sporadically until 1949, when they were dropped altogether and replaced by Olympic cultural programs. Visa began its Olympic Games sponsorship in 1986 and since then has sponsored three Olympic Summer Games (Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta) and four Olympic Winter Games (Calgary, Albertville Lillehammer, and Nagano). In Sydney, Visa continues its Olympic sponsorship role as a Worldwide Partner as the exclusive card and the official payment system for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.Details