The Alabama Congressional delegation, along with American Sports Artist Rick Rush, will be presenting a painting entitled "The Spirit of Victory: The 1980 Olympics, USA vs USSR," to President Carter and members of the Olympic Committee. The presentation will take place Thursday, June 12th, from 9:00-10:00am in Room S-145 of the Capitol.
Rick Rush is nationally recognized for his unique ability to capture the spirit of an individual sporting event. Author James Dickey says, "Rush is able to render the explosive essence of an action with more feeling of its reality than any number of actually-moving images such as those made possible by film could do."
Immediately after the U.S. Hockey team's victory over the Soviet Union, Rush was inspired to capture the awesome spirit of the victory that was present throughout the match. "The thing that drew me to do a painting of the USA-Soviet hockey match", Rush said, "was the intensity of the spirit of the victory between the U.S. players and the American people."
The painting is done in brilliant hues of red, white, and blue and depicts the final U.S. goal by Mike Eruzione. The work captures the deflated feeling of the seasonal Soviet players against an inspired youthful American team.
"The thing that excited me about this game was the restored feeling of the patriotism and unity that has been so unpopular in recent years. That is why I am glad that this painting will be in the domain of the American people," Rush emphasized.
Rick Rush, 33, was born in Mobile, Alabama and holds a degree in art and English from the University of Alabama. Nominated and chosen as Outstanding Young Man of America in 1979, he now lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Susie and 5-month old daughter, Rachael.