Tonight, international top athletes enjoy the attention of fans all around the world, for the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tens of thousands of athletes who failed to survive the grueling qualification rounds will no doubt also tune in to the Aug. 5 festivities in Maracanã Stadium, which start at 7pm eastern time. But one of those disappointed athletes is already being honored elsewhere in Rio, by French street artist JR.
In Avenida Rui Barbosa facing Flamenco beach, a monumental image of 27-year-old Sudanese high jumper Ali Mohamed Younes Idris leaps over an apartment building and appears to float in mid-air. “He missed out on qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics but he is there somehow,” JR wrote on Instagram. Idris, who in real life towers at 7’5″ (2.26 meters), was a gold medalist at the 2011 All-Africa Games and a national record holder for high jump. He was injured this year while training in Cologne, Germany, and failed to make it through Rio’s qualifying rounds.
80 years ago the Olympics happened in Berlin. Hitler wanted to use them to demonstrate the supremacy of the Aryan race. Today they will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a "mixed race" country ("país mestiço"). Even though Brazil is going through political and economic turmoil and the necessity of the Games at this moment can spark controversy, the Olympic spirit will joyfully be welcomed by the people tonight. This is Mohamed, a Sudanese athlete who couldn't make it to the Games because of an injury. He still came to Rio and jumps over a building in Flamengo. #IOPrio2016 ( address : aterro do Flamengo, best point to see it: in front of the former Porcão s Rio)
Another installation in the nearby Barra neighborhood depicts an anonymous swimmer in an elegant dive.
My first flying piece … Almost done installing some new artworks with a complete new technique ! Working on it since almost a year … More images and stories to come !! 🙏🙏🙏@camille @malubarretto @guillaumelefrancois @emile @marc @vikmuniz @guillaumecagniard @natachalangmantil @alabaz @takao5020 @fergusonag @luigerman @julianaluna and all the team who worked on this !!! #ioprio2016 #Rio
JR is not the only street artist making a mark in Rio this week. Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra is attempting to set a world record for the largest wall mural painted by one artist.