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LeRoy Neiman: Inside the Olympics

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Bruce Jenner, Olympic Decathalon
How did LeRoy Neiman capture the moment – well, 10 of them to be exact – when Caitlin Jenner, then competing as Bruce, won the decathlon at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games? Neiman created a collage of Jenner competing in each of the 10 events.
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Olympic Flag
LeRoy Neiman was the official painter of five Olympic Games, where he enjoyed capturing the world’s best athletes at the top of their performances.
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Flags of the Olympics
LeRoy Neiman was the official painter of five Olympic Games, where he enjoyed capturing the world’s best athletes at the top of their performances.
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Olympic Torch Bearer
LeRoy Neiman was the official painter of five Olympic Games, where he enjoyed capturing the world’s best athletes at the top of their performances.
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Cameraman
LeRoy Neiman was the official painter of five Olympic Games, where he enjoyed capturing the world’s best athletes at the top of their performances.
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Coliseum - Olympics Opening Day
LeRoy Neiman was fascinated with the television aspect of covering the Olympic Games. He enjoyed not only painting on live television during The Games but also the backstory what went into covering the event behind the scenes. These sketches, which Neiman likely put together quickly in his trusty sketchbook, could have been created during setup for the Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, according to the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation.
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Coliseum - Olympics Opening Day
LeRoy Neiman was fascinated with the television aspect of covering the Olympic Games. He enjoyed not only painting on live television during The Games but also the backstory what went into covering the event behind the scenes. These sketches, which Neiman likely put together quickly in his trusty sketchbook, could have been created during setup for the Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, according to the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation.
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Village Practice
The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, thinks that Neiman stumbled upon a U.S. Men’s Basketball Team practice at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games and enjoyed seeing the players at work. Athletes featured here were Bill Russell, Kevin Joyce, Bob Jones, Tom McMillen, Doug Collins, Kenny Davis, Tom Henderson, Mike Bantam, Ed Ratleff, Jim Brewer and Dwight Jones.
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Vancouver Olympics Painting Sketch
At age 89, LeRoy Neiman was no longer traveling to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but that doesn’t mean he was not going to depict The Games back in his studio. Here, he paints an airborne skier with the Vancouver skyline in the background.
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Vancouver Olympics Painting Sketch
At age 89, LeRoy Neiman was no longer traveling to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but that doesn’t mean he was not going to depict The Games back in his studio. Here, he paints an airborne skier with the Vancouver skyline in the background.
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Vancouver Olympics Painting
At age 89, LeRoy Neiman was no longer traveling to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but that doesn’t mean he was not going to depict The Games back in his studio. Here, he paints an airborne skier with the Vancouver skyline in the background.
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Vancouver Olympics Painting
At age 89, LeRoy Neiman was no longer traveling to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, but that doesn’t mean he was not going to depict The Games back in his studio. Here, he paints an airborne skier with the Vancouver skyline in the background.
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Frank Shorter
While covering the Olympic Games, LeRoy Neiman often visited the Olympic Village and befriended athletes. “He really enjoyed not just illustrating athletes at their peak performance,” said the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation, “but hanging around, getting to know them and capturing them being individuals.”
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Bruce Jenner, Olympic Decathalon
How did LeRoy Neiman capture the moment – well, 10 of them to be exact – when Caitlin Jenner, then competing as Bruce, won the decathlon at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games? Neiman created a collage of Jenner competing in each of the 10 events.
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Bruce Jenner, Olympic Decathalon
How did LeRoy Neiman capture the moment – well, 10 of them to be exact – when Caitlin Jenner, then competing as Bruce, won the decathlon at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games? Neiman created a collage of Jenner competing in each of the 10 events.
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Bruce Baumgartner and Andrei Shumalin
In this sketch, it appears that LeRoy Neiman was attempting to place wrestler Bruce Baumgartner in motion during a wrestling match to decide the bronze medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
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Duane Bobick in the Olympic Village Cafeteria
LeRoy Neiman enjoyed finding athletes with oversized personalities and bringing them to life through art. Boxer Duane Bobick certainly fit this description. “LeRoy would have been drawn to this guy,” said the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation. “He obviously tailed him for several hours or over the course of days.”
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Duane Bobick and Bobby Lewis in the U.S. Dressing Room
LeRoy Neiman enjoyed finding athletes with oversized personalities and bringing them to life through art. Boxer Duane Bobick certainly fit this description. “LeRoy would have been drawn to this guy,” said the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation. “He obviously tailed him for several hours or over the course of days.”
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Bobick loses to Teofilo Stevenson
LeRoy Neiman enjoyed finding athletes with oversized personalities and bringing them to life through art. Boxer Duane Bobick certainly fit this description. “LeRoy would have been drawn to this guy,” said the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation. “He obviously tailed him for several hours or over the course of days.”
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Sugar Ray Leonard fighting Russia at the 1976 Olympics
One trick that LeRoy Neiman used to add flavor to his artwork was taking a special piece of paper and then sketching over top. It could be a restaurant menu, press notes or in this case, the bout sheet from the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games gold medal bout boxing lineup. The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation said that by doing this, he added another layer to the story that he was capturing, with a medium that provided extra context for the viewer.
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Sugar Ray Leonard fighting Russia at the 1976 Olympics
One trick that LeRoy Neiman used to add flavor to his artwork was taking a special piece of paper and then sketching over top. It could be a restaurant menu, press notes or in this case, the bout sheet from the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games gold medal bout boxing lineup. The LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation said that by doing this, he added another layer to the story that he was capturing, with a medium that provided extra context for the viewer.

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LeRoy Neiman was a cook in the U.S. Army during World War II, then attended art school and became an art professor. He eventually made sports part of his work and carved out a most unique career.
Artwork courtesy LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation.
 

LeRoy Neiman: The Olympic Painter

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LeRoy Neiman was a showman and said that how he painted was just as important as what he painted. Neiman was easily identified on location, with his handlebar mustache, bright clothing and cigar in his mouth.
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