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Olympic Tribute

Location: 1501 N. Mattis (Dodds Park) (Directions)
Architect: Jeffery S. Poss, AIB

The Intentions of the Design

The Tribute to Olympic and Paralympic Athletes rises from an ordinary prairie landscape transformed by playing fields, gardens, and a community college campus. It honors the extraordinary achievements of Champaign County residents who have participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and its granite platform is inscribed with their names and the Olympic symbol of linked rings.

Visitors to the Tribute move from an approach walk to a series of intermediate platforms, marked by light bollards and granite aggregate, reflecting the plateaus achieved then surpassed as the athletes pursue their dreams. Then to the climactic, final, inscribed granite platform beyond the gateway–the smallest but grandest plateau–representing the pinnacle of achievement. Here they can view the surrounding countryside. It is this rising progression that is a metaphor for the path traveled by Olympians as they compete, and excel through discipline and desire. The steps connecting that platform to the ground suggest that the personal glory of achievement is transitory, and that the progress must begin again. The forced perspective of the approach walk and gateway gives the illusion of great depth, expressing the great endurance and long commitment required in the pursuit of excellence.

The Tribute is conceived as a strong geometric counterpoint to its naturalistic setting. It is embedded in and grows out of the soil of its place, a symbolic reminder of the Olympians’ bond with the community that honors them.

Policy for Inclusion of Area Athletes

Automatic Inclusion:

Any athlete listed on the Olympic or Paralympic team roster, for any Olympiad, who designated a community in Champaign County as his/her hometown on the roster.
Any athlete who participated in an Olympic or Paralympic demonstration or exhibition sport who designated a community in Champaign County as his/her hometown.

Other inclusion possibilities (Material to validate must be provided by the applying athlete or representative of the athlete):

  1. A candidate who attended elementary or high school in Champaign County for five years or more.
  2. A candidate who moved to Champaign County within five years from the time he or she participated as an Olympic athlete and remained in residence for a period of fifteen years or more.
  3. Any unusual situations will be considered

Athletes

Name Event Year & Location
Arie, Mark P. Trapshoot 1920 Antwerp, Belgium
Ayars, Rebecca J. Track & Field 1956 Melbourne, Australia
Bailey, Chantal Dunn Speedskating 1994 Lillehamer, Norway
Blair, Bonnie Speedskating 1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 Calgary, Canada
1992 Albertville, France
1994 Lillehamer, Norway
Bolin-Kelley, Diane Gymnastics 1968 Mexico City, Mexico
Brems, Karen Cycling 2000 Sidney, Australia
Capan, Roger Speedskating 1968 Grenoble, France
Cody-Morris, Ann Wheelchair Track 1988 Seoul, Korea
Coleman, Philip Y. Track & Field 1956 Melbourne, Australia
1960 Rome, Italy
Driscoll, Jean Wheelchair Track 1992 Barcelona, Spain
1996 Atlanta, Georgia
Eddleman, Dwight High Jump 1948 London, England
Espeseth, Robert Jr. Rowing 1976 Montreal, Canada
1980 Moscow, Russia
1984 Los Angeles, California
1988 Seoul, Korea
Fitch, Horatio M. Track & Field 1924 Paris, France
Goodknight, Terri Wheelchair Track and Basketball 1988 Seoul, South Korea
1992 Barcelona, Spain
Grossfeld, Abraham Gymnastics 1956 Melbourne, Australia
1960 Rome, Italy
Grossfeld, Muriel (Davis) Gymnastics 1956 Melbourne, Australia
1960 Rome, Italy
1964 Tokyo, Japan
Henrick, Brad Wheelchair Track and Basketball 1980 Moscow, Russia
1984 Los Angeles, California
Hedrick, Sharon Wheelchair Track 1984 Los Angeles, California
1988 Seoul, Korea
Henriksen, Erik Speedskating 1980 Lake Placid, New York
1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 Calgary, Canada
Johnson, Harlan Modern Pentathlon 1952 Helsinki, Finland
Johnson, Mark Wrestling 1980 Moscow, USSR
Laz, Donald R. Pole Vault 1952 Helsinki, Finland
Kuck, Jonathan Speedskating 2010 Vancouver, Canada
McGill, Tyler Tennant Swimming 2012 London, England
Metheny, Linda Gymnastics 1964 Tokyo, Japan
1968 Mexico City, Mexico
1972 Munich, Germany
Millage, Nichole Sitting Volleyball 2008 Beijing, China
2012 London, England
Mulliken, William Swimming 1960 Rome, Italy
Mulvihill, Colleen Gymnastics 1968 Mexico City, Mexico
Murphy, Frank Pole Vault 1912 Stocholm, Sweden
Osborn, Harold Track & Field 1924 Paris, France
1928 Amsterdam, Holland
Olesen, Robert Bobsledding 1998 Nagano, Japan
Richards, Bob Pole Vault 1948 London, England
1952 Helsinki, Finland
1956 Melbourne, Australia
Ruddell, Jennifer Wheelchair Basketball 2004 Athens, Greece
2008 Beijing, China
Reutter, Katherine Speedskating 2010 Vancouver, Canada
Shine, Mike Track & Field 1976 Montreal, Canada
Thies, Nancy Gymnastics 1972 Munich, Germany
Thompson, Gayle R. Rowing 1960 Rome, Italy
Yoss, Barbara Wheelchair Basketball 1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 Calgary, Canada
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