Olympiad ’84 (2011)

The three runners in Milton Hebald’s Olympiad ’84 have no time to stop and smell the roses. This 1986 work, with a title inspired by the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, is one of six sculptures in the plaza outside the Stuart M. Ketchum Downtown YMCA in Downtown Los Angeles.

Born in New York City, Hebald lived in Italy for fifty years before moving to Los Angeles. An earlier version of this sculpture, 500 Meters, commemorated the 1960 Rome Olympics. Olympiad ’84 is bigger; and though it’s entirely tasteful with no visible “naughty bits,” it accommodates American Family Values with the addition of incised lines, so viewers of all ages will have no doubt that the women are wearing tops and shorts.

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