Pan Am Global Ambassador & two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Donovan Bailey recently helped unveil the newest painting with Toronto artist and entrepreneur Mark Stoddart’s Sports Collection. Since dedicating his career to art in 2006, Mark has produced numerous collections showcasing and honoring significant black musicians and athletes throughout history. His 40@40 Collection, a collection of 40 paintings which he compiled before he turned 40, features the likes of jazz icons Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Homage Celebrating the Journey was the sports segment of this collection that featured legendary athletes Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Satchel Paige and Fergie Jenkins.
Since 2011, Mark has been blessed to work with legendary American sprinter, author, and advocate for human rights, Dr. John Carlos. Carlos, along with Tommie Smith and Peter Norman are immortalized in history for there silent protest held on the medal podium at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The image of Smith and Carlos raising their black fists in solidarity on the podium is an iconic moment in history now remembered throughout the world.
Capturing a Canadian legend like Donovan Bailey is no new feat for Mark as he has respectively created pieces paying homage to Canadian legends Harry Jerome and Herbert Carnegie. However, as Mark commented, his relationship with Donovan Bailey is a unique one.
“One thing that is interesting about our relationship is we have a lot of things in common – both or our families are from Jamaica; we both attended Sheridan College and our birthdays are one day apart…Donovan has always been a fan of my artwork and we had always discussed creating a piece for him.”
Bailey’s gold-medal accomplishments at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games in the 100-metre race and the 4 x 100 metre relay were not only Canada’s greatest moments in track and field, but one of the greatest moments in Canadian sports history.
The timing of the release of these pieces could not be more perfect. Toronto is in the midst of hosting the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan AM Games. The opening ceremonies took place this past Friday, and one of the segments during the ceremony features the entire 1996 Gold medal relay team as torch bearers running and passing the Olympic torch to Donovan Bailey who receives it on top of the CN Tower and then descends from it in dramatic fashion.
“It was an amazing way to honor one of the greatest moments in Canadian sports history. A lot of the young teenagers today who were born after 1996 will not be familiar with the name Donovan Bailey or understand the significance of that day at the Olympics. In all of my pieces I try to capture a piece of history as well as tell a story within it. This piece is just another way I honor and pay homage to what Donovan did and brought to Canada. It’s just my way of keeping his legacy alive.”
Next year will be 20 years since Donovan along with his 4 x 100 metre relay teammates captured gold in Atlanta. Going forward, we can look to seeing more collaborations between Mark and Donovan as Donovan re-introduces himself to the next generation of Canadians and Mark expands his tremendous resume and art collection.
"FOLLOW YOUR PASSION, BE PREPARED TO WORK HARD AND SACRIFICE, AND, ABOVE ALL, DON'T LET ANYONE LIMIT YOUR DREAMS." - Donovan Bailey
Always remember DREAMS come a size 2 BIG so we can grow in them (((+))) embrace your journey on the road to success!!!