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From Athlete to Artist | How an Atlanta Olympian went from competing to creating for the Olympics

Roald Bradstock is a two-time Olympic javelin thrower. Now, he's an artist for the Tokyo 2020 games.

ATLANTA — Not only is Roald Bradstock a two-time Olympian, he is also an artist.

The track star from England competed in Olympic javelin throwing back in 1984 and 1988. Now, he's one of six Olympic artists-in-residence for the Tokyo 2020 Games. 

The program, launched by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, helps link sports, culture and art. It's all artwork done by Olympians and Paralympians. 

Bradstock said it has always been his dream to create for the Olympics.

"My lifetime goal was to make it to Olympics and become an Olympic athlete," he said. "But my lifetime dream was to be an Olympic artist."

Bradstock moved to Atlanta after coming to the city as an alternate in the 1996 games. Once his track career ended, he said, he did not want to end his chapter with the Olympics.

After being selected for this year's program, Bradstock created paintings to represent the 2020 Games. His work is on display in Tokyo's Mitsukoshimae Underground Passage. 

Because of the pandemic, he could not go to Tokyo to showcase his work.

He created the paintings in his metro Atlanta studio. He said his work is inspired by his personal Olympic experiences and the emotions felt during the pandemic. 

"I felt really truly inspired as far as what I was creating," he said. "It almost was like an of out of body experience."

Bradstock said he hopes this program inspires other professional athletes that there is more to life after their athletic careers.

"I am part of a movement that is creating a platform and opportunity to show that athletes are more than just athletes," he said.


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