Olympic motto “Faster, Higher,Stronger – Together” in series of pencil works by Daria Fetisova

You have just four days left to visit the solo art exhibition by Daria Fetisova “Modern Olympic Games”, curated by ARTNOW, in Exhibit8 Gallery. A special place in this project is occupied by a series of works “Together”. The artist in graphic images reflected eight famous moments of the Olympic Games, where mutual assistance became more important than personal successes and achievements. Take a look at these works and read the backstory behind each work in the series.

Alexei Nemov

Alexei Nemov arrived at the Olympic Games in Athens as a clear favorite and leader of the Russian national team, despite the injury he received before the competition, showing confidence of performance and complexity of programs. However, his performance on the horizontal bar was marred by a scandal. The judges gave clearly underestimated marks, the average was 9.725. After that, the outraged spectators of the 12,000-seat hall, standing for 7-8 minutes with incessant shouts, roars and whistles protested against the decision of the judges and supported the athlete with applause, not allowing the next (American) athlete to go on the platform. The bewildered judges and the FIG technician changed the scores for the first time in gymnastics history, giving a slightly higher average of 9.762, but still denying Nemov a medal. The public continued to be outraged and stopped protesting only when Alexey himself came out and asked the audience to calm down. He won Fair Play Award in 2005 by International Fair Play Committee for his action.

After this incident, some judges were suspended from judging, the athlete was officially apologized to, and revolutionary changes were made to the rules (in addition to the score for technique, a score for difficulty was introduced, which took into account each element separately, as well as bundles between separate complex elements).


John Stephen Akhwari

While competing in the marathon in Mexico City, Akhwari cramped up due to the high altitude of the city. He had not trained at such an altitude back in his country. At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 km race, there was jockeying for position between some runners and he was hit. He fell badly wounding his knee and dislocating that joint plus his shoulder hit hard against the pavement. He however continued running, finishing last among the 57 competitors who completed the race (75 had started). The winner of the marathon, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, finished in 2:20:26. Akhwari finished in 3:25:27, when there were only a few thousand people left in the stadium, and the sun had set. A television crew was sent out from the medal ceremony when word was received that there was one more runner about to finish.

As he finally crossed the finish line a cheer came from the small crowd. When interviewed later and asked why he continued running, he said, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race." 


Abe Hifumi and Uta

At the 2018 World Judo Championships in Baku, Abe Uta and her brother Hifumi both won gold medals on the same day. It was Uta's first world title, coming just weeks after her 18th birthday, as Hifumi - three years older - successfully defended his crown. Thoughts immediately turned to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Could they do the same there? 

After a delay of a year, and Hifumi's victory in a one-off qualification bout that stopped the nation, they had their chance to make history on 25 July 2021. Incredibly they did it, becoming the first siblings to strike Olympic gold on the same day in an individual sport.


Kerri Strug
Kerri Strug was far from the greatest ever American female gymnast, but she may be the best remembered for one vault she did at the 1996 Olympics. With the USA challenging for the team gold medal, they had only a narrow lead over Russia and Romania going into the final rotation, with Strug scheduled for the horse vault. Strug was a vault specialist, but she landed poorly on her first attempt, and also injured her left ankle. She was not sure she could make another vault.
In the time interval between Strug's two vaults, she asked, "Do we need this?" Károlyi replied, "Kerri, we need you to go one more time. We need you one more time for the gold. You can do it, you better do it." Strug thus limped slightly to the end of the runway to make her second attempt. She landed the vault briefly on both feet, almost instantly hopping onto only her uninjured foot, saluting the judges. She then collapsed onto her knees and needed assistance off the landing platform, to which sportscaster John Tesh commented, "Kerri Strug is hurt! She is hurt badly." As Strug landed the second vault, Dolgopalova's 9.750 floor score was posted, making Strug's 9.712 enough to guarantee the Americans the gold medal.
Unfortunately, the story was better than the reality. Without Strug taking the final vault, the US would still have won the competition by 0.309 points.


Derek Redmond 

By the time of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Derek Redmond had undergone five operations, including one on his Achilles tendon less than four months before the Games began.

In Barcelona, everything seemed to be coming together for Redmond at last. He was running well: he recorded the fastest time of the first round and he won his quarterfinal heat. As he settled into the blocks for the start of his semifinal race, Redmond's thoughts turned to his father, Jim. Derek got off to a clean start and was running smoothly when, about 150m into the race, his right hamstring muscle tore and he fell to the ground.

When he saw the stretcher-bearers rushing towards him, he knew he had to finish the race. Redmond jumped up and began hobbling forward despite the pain he felt. His father ran out of the stands and joined him on the track. Hand in hand, with Derek sobbing, they continued. Just before the finish, Jim let go of his son and Derek completed the course on his own, as the crowd of 65,000 gave him a standing ovation.


Lawrence Lemieux

On September 24, 1988, the sailing competition was underway at Busan. At the time, the 470 and Finn classes were running races on their respective courses. The wind suddenly picked up, blowing 35 knots, and the Singapore team's dinghy with Joseph Chan and Siew Shaw Her aboard capsized. The men were thrown from the boat as it tipped over and were injured, in need of assistance. At this time, Lemieux was running the fifth of the seven total races to determine the medalists in the Finn class and was in second place in that race. Near the halfway point of his race, Lemieux spotted the Singapore shipwreck and deviated from his course to assist in rescuing Chan and Siew. After pulling them from the water, Lemieux waited for a patrol boat to take the rescued sailors back to shore. Once that happened, he rejoined the Finn heat, coming in twenty-second place. However, due to his actions, the International Yacht Racing Union decided to reinstate Lemieux's position when he went off course, rewarding him with a second-place finish in his race. 

Despite this, Lemieux went on to place eleventh in the class. At the medal awards ceremony President of the International Olympic Committee, awarded Lemieux the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship. "By your sportsmanship, self-sacrifice and courage," said Samaranch, "you embody all that is right with the Olympic ideal." Lemieux, at the time, was only the fifth recipient of the de Coubertin Medal, and the second to receive it during a Games in which he was a competitor, following Eugenio Monti.


World Fair Play Awards  and The Pierre de Coubertin medal  

The Pierre de Coubertin medal is a special decoration awarded by the International Olympic Committee that "pays tribute to institutions with a pedagogical and educational role and to people who, through their research and the creation of intellectual works in the spirit of Pierre de Coubertin, contribute to the promotion of Olympism." It was designed by André Ricard Sala, with one face featuring a portrait of Coubertin and the other showing the Olympic motto and rings. 

The medal is not the same award as the Pierre de Coubertin World Trophy, which was inaugurated in 1964 and is awarded by the International Fair Play Committee, although the two are sometimes confused.

The International Fair Play Committee is a not for profit international non-governmental organisation which serves to foster sportsmanship in international competition. It presents awards annually at the World Fair Play Awards to recognise acts of fair play carried out by sportspeople or teams. The awards ceremony is held in France and has been broadcast on television in Europe. 


Eugenio Monti

It was during the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck that Eugenio Monti performed the best-known act of his sporting career. Realizing that British bobsledders Tony Nash and Robin Dixon had broken a bolt on their sled, Monti lent them the bolt off his sled. The Britons won the gold medal in the 2-man bobsled, while Monti and his teammate took the bronze medal. Answering critics from the home press, Monti told them "Nash didn't win because I gave him the bolt. He won because he had the fastest run." Monti also showed his act of selfless generosity in the four-man competition. There, the Canadian team of Vic Emery had damaged their sled's axle and would have been disqualified had not Monti and his mechanics come to the rescue. The sled was repaired and the Canadian team went on to win the gold medal, while Monti's team took bronze. For these acts of sportsmanship, he was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal and he won first Fair Play Award in 2005 by International Fair Play Committee for his action.

Eugenio Monti became the first winner of the de Coubertin Medal to receive it during the Games in which he participated.

The exhibition is on display till the 24th of February at the Exhibit8 Gallery, Limassol. Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 - 23:00

by Marta Sakharova