Olympic Celebration

Amy Williams 1982 - , Tom Daley 1994 -

Tom Daley and Amy Williams

Amy Williams Bronze - Alan Dun - 2012, Tom Daley Wire-mesh - Nikki Taylor - 2012

We finish with something different. Sculpture and sport came together in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics through a fascinating exhibition presented by a public art organisation based in Bath, Art at the Edge. 30 British sculptors were commissioned to create sculptures representing different Olympic sporting events. The works range from conceptual impressionist pieces to figurative sculptures. Two, represented here, contribute to our collection of sporting heroes in sculpture:  Tom Daley and Amy Williams.

A fascinating life-size wire-mesh sculpture by Nikki Taylor stood for a period in the delightful setting of the Cross Bath at Thermae Bath Spa. It represented an action image of Tom Daley. Daley, leading diver from the 10 metre platform, was Britain’s youngest competitor at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. European champion in 2008 and 2012, he also won the world championships in Rome in 2009. He joyously won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

A strongly visual sculpture, and one representing a great Olympic moment for Britain, is that of Amy Williams. Her stunning triumph in the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, winning the gold medal in the women’s skeleton event, was the first British gold medal in an individual event at the Winter Olympics for three decades and the first British individual gold medal for a female participant for 58 years. Her success, and accompanying joy, excited the sporting nation. Graceful and powerful, the three-quarter life-size bronze sculpture by Alan Dun is a delightful combination of sport and art.

The 2012 London Olympics established, thrillingly, the reputation of many new British sporting heroes. Our sporting history is a continuing one. Sculpture will continue to be a powerful medium for celebrating heroes and memories comprised in our sporting heritage.