The Winter Olympic Games kicked off last week in Sochi, Russia. Between snowboarding, luge, and more, athletes will be competing with gear and style that looks a lot different from that of centuries past. But one thing that we'll likely never see again is the visual and lyrical art that was once part of the competition. Yes, you read that right. In the early 20th century, art was actually an Olympic sport.
In 1906, French baron and founder of the International Olympic Committee, Pierre de Coubertin, thought it might be interesting to integrate arts and culture into the Olympic Games. From 1912 to 1948, participants from all over the globe entered their works in the following categories: literature, architecture, music, painting, and sculpture.
Athletes who also dabbled in art were given a chance to win medals in other events. Rumor has it Baron de Coubertin himself even entered the Games under a pseudonym in 1912. While some of the artists that participated, such as Jack Butler Yeats and Paul Landowski, went on to see success in their careers, many faded into oblivion after their Olympic wins.
We've dug up a collection of pieces from the lost Olympic art competitions. Between livestreaming Nordic skiing and catching Shaun White on the big screen, check out these fascinating 20 Works from the Short-Lived Olympic Art Competitions.