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  • Writer's pictureNikki Dee

A little Olympic Spirit can go far...

I will admit, I love watching the Olympics and it makes me sappy to the core. The thought of people pursuing a craft, honing their abilities, lifting each other up- I live for it. I see the most true and honest reactions from individuals. The vibrating teeth of victory, the comforting arms of encouragement, the honing eyes of focus- the imagery is intense and amazing.

I created a little version of the logo myself to pay tribute and show gratitude to what I think are some of the strongest core piece of this legendary occasion, and I think as artists we can take note of this ourselves.

Honor: My native country is the United States and I chose to put our flag first just as I would expect other's to honor their country and history. We are a representation of those that have come before us, of mentors who have guided us, of originators who pushed for new techniques like Dada-ism and Skateboarding! Our countries are often not perfect, but we carry them with us on our journey forward. There are art pieces we celebrate, but other's we try to hide because we are ashamed of our lack of skill or finesse. These are still a part of our portfolio, honor all the work you have done to get to the level you are at now.

Support: We Artists would not be anywhere if not for the love of families, the compliments of friends, the encouragement of partners and the many creators who help us achieve what we can. We must thank the medical staff and personnel who made the Olympics and all the qualifying events even possible through research, hours of planning and rigorous cleaning. We in turn can thank the individuals who work in factories to make canvas, brushes, needles, wool, music software for computers, swatches for beautiful fabric, and many many more mediums.

Respect: My heart flutters just a little more when I see the gratitude and acknowledgement of so many cultures, countries and peoples. I wanted to give acknowledgement to our Host country this year of Japan, just as many before have made room to welcome the world into their home. We grow so much better when we are exposed to the amazing abilities, skills, traditions and of course food of those around us. What an amazing way to learn and grow as an entire race. We can respect other forms of art and work together to continue as creators by lending ideas and collaborating. To see athletes embracing each other in moments of victory- even if they don't speak the same language they can exchange the same message: I see you and I celebrate you.

Include: The word inclusion knows no boundaries. I chose to use a wheel in representation of the Paralympics and those who pursue the same visions and goals, but with a much more difficult road. This may also be for the first time women were able to compete, countries for being recognized, and promoting the abilities in those with disabilities with the Special Olympics. We can have that patience with new young artists, we can mentor and inspire others with helpful critiques. We can choose to see the strengths in others and recognize that we need to include all talents. I was honored to be able to "coach" (I was in charge of a roster and turning on the lights, the title was very loosely applied) the Lobos Men's Wheelchair Basketball team for a short time. It was still just as intense as an NBA game as we watched their faces coordinating plays and the yearn for every point- every shot- every time! They let me play in the practice rounds occasionally, barely able to keep up with the intense cardio of roaring down the court and a reminder that everyone has unique strengths to promote. But the one moment, one time, I sunk one basket- the screams of victory they gave me is something I'll never forget. They included me.

Aspire: My last ring is the Gold ring. It's a false ring. It's just a shiny circle, but what it represents is the continued drive to get better, be brighter, absorb skills and hone talents. Keep learning, keep watching, keep stretching a little further for a little more every time. As athletes and artists, as scientists and speakers, as builders and brothers in our remaining lives- let us keep striving forward to ignite our creativity and fuel our ability.

Thank you for sharing this time and hopefully, some inspiration.

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