03.08.12 Today I looked back to where it all began: the Ancient Olympic Games. As the Olympic Park in the East End buzzes with athletes and fans, I looked to the past at the British Museum in the West End. I first drew the ‘Discobolus’ as a student at the Royal College of Art more than 20 years ago. A copy of a fifth century BC lost bronze sculpture, the ‘discus thrower’ is considered to have a perfectly proportioned body as no individual muscle group is over developed. It is the iconic image of the Ancient Olympic Games, and it has a particular London story. When it arrived at the British Museum it’s head was broken off and Victorian restorers put it back on the wrong way looking at the floor instead of looking back at the discus. It was kept in a basement gallery tucked away where few visitors went for many years. Today it is on show in the Grand Court for all to see.
I then visited the ‘sports zone’ at Madame Tussaud’s. There are many athletes on show and visitors are encouraged to interact with the life size replicas. You can take your photo taken with Jessica Ennis and as you file past Usian Bolt it irresistible not to strike a pose.