Monday, October 14, 2013

1984 Olympics

The 1984 Olympic games were held in the USA. The athletes stayed in Olympic Villages at USC, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Athletes from the United States  and foreign countries came to Southern California weeks before their events, They would train few hours, then, what do they do for the rest of the hours in their days? The host country provides activities to ensure the athletes have some entertainment to ward off boredom. Disney led the way in providing films and live animators to entertain the athletes. I along with Ruben Procopio, Joe Lanzisero, Andreas Deja and Mark Henn were sent to those three venues.

Photo to the right is of me, sketch book in hand sketching athletes at the UCLA Olympic Village  amphitheatre one evening.

Our group with Brett Thompson and guide about to enter the UCLA Olympic Village.

 Over a period of a couple of weeks we had visited the villages at USC and UCLA, drawing and answering questions about animation. Ruben even prepared a talk on animation one night.

On this beautiful, warm, California sunshiny lets go to the beach kind of day,we put on
our shorts( except for Ruben
who had a dream the night before that this picture would show up on a blog twenty-nine years later) and headed for the UC Santa Barbara OlympicVillage.
 Mark Davis and his wife Alice joined us at UCSB...

LaVonne under the 'disco' sign...think back, mid eighties the disco sound is 'in' and all these young, foreign athletes can't wait to get a taste of American culture through disco dancing .

 We see and hear this commotion in the distance... it's Princess Ann visiting the village. The guys in the suits are heavily armed security.

 "Disney animators are in the village and they are going to draw our pictures!" word spread fast and the athletes lined up waiting their turn before the pencil.

We drew and drew and drew and drew and drew...

and drew and drew and drew and drew and drew...

...drew and drew and drew and drew some more.

The athletes went away with a  momento on paper and came back with flags and pens from their native countries to present to us.

After about four hours straight of drawing, our Olympic Village adventure was about to end, but I had one more drawing to do. Kristen had just won a gold medal that morning and after drawing her she let me hold her medal. An experience I'll never forget.

for us to participate in the athlete's relaxation time by utilizing our talents to entertain them

The experience ended with a document from the Olympic committee thanking us for our participation.  We thought what a great honor and priviledge it was for us to participate in the athlete's relaxation time by utilizing our talents to entertain them.

One more Olympic outing for me. Glen and his Dad had tickets for the track and field games held at the Coliseum. For some reason his dad couldn't make it that day, so Glen invited me to come along with him, so we dropped our pencils and headed down the freeway.

Me with sketchbook in hand as the stadium starts to fill up...
the stadium is filled  and the games begin, got to see a great womens mile that featured a duel between the two best at the time, Zola Budd who ran without shoes and Mary Decker. Mary was leading at 330 meters but got tangled up and tripped, never finishing the race.

Glen sketching between sessions.

(Got an advance copy of 'Quick Sketching with Ron Husband' last Monday and the publisher said it should be available shortly.)     

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