Myron’s ancient Greek sculpture depicts a male discus thrower. The sculptor captures the tension in the still moment, that split second just before the discus is thrown where all physical and mental power is intensively accumulated.
The Discobolus expresses the ancient Greek spirit of the age. Homer’s ‘aiein aristevein’ translated as ‘always be excellent’, is the essence of this spirit. The Greek athlete is an Olympic symbol. The Olympic Landmark is the Discobolus.
The landmark attempts to incorporate in its form the essence of the Discobolus. The issues of excellency, capturing motion and tension are taken on board.
Excellency: The Paris bid for the Olympics of 2012 embraces Homer’s gesture of always being excellent: Paris, the city of light, is a city with a brilliant past and present. The bid turns into the starting point of a great future; the Olympic Landmark offering a panorama in the city and in history becomes an emblem, an icon, and a builder of the future.
Capturing motion: Myron’s Discobolus illustrates controlled tension and potential energy, limited to one plane, with very little depth to it. The discus thrower is a carefully composed study of frozen motion. The composition is made up of a series of interlocking arcs.
The project aims to be as Olympic as it can be through its reference to the Discobolus and as Parisian as it can be through its Gothic references which influence its structural form. The gothic tradition’s seek of the sublime is depicted through the decorative patterns of the ‘gothic arc’ and the structural quality of gothic architecture as expressed by Viollet le Duc.