Sunday, July 8, 2012
Missourian Martin Linson’s bronze sculpture showing an athlete in a wheelchair crossing the finish line won the gold medal during the 2012 London Olympic Sport and Art Contest.
It marked the first gold medal awarded for the 2012 London Olympics.
“I’m so proud of my nephew Martin. He’s from Missouri and he is the first Missourian to win an Olympic Gold Medal for Art,” said Barbara “Bobbi” Linson Wilson of Fulton. Wilson retired this year as a special education teacher at the Fulton Middle School.
Her nephew, a St. Charles sculptor, became the second American artist in the past three Olympiads to win the International Olympic Committee (IOC) art competition.
The 2012 contest was at the IOC’s Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
An adjunct art professor at Lindenwood University at St. Charles, Linson is the son of Melvin and Barbara Linson. He also is an adjunct professor at the St. Louis Art Institute.
“Martin was so surprised when he won. He entered the Olympic art competition four years ago at the last Olympics and he finished fourth,” Wilson said.
With his sculpture, Linson decided to pay tribute to athletes in wheelchairs participating in the Paralympic Games from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9 in London.
Contacted by phone at his art studio in St. Charles, Linson said he wanted to recognize and honor Paralympic athletes because of their amazing accomplishments.
“It all started in conversations I had with two veterans. I mentioned that it takes a lot of courage and grit to compete in a wheelchair and to overcome a lack of limbs either from birth or from injuries,” Linson said.