Hall of Fame Paintings
CLASS OF 2020
It was the gold Carl Lewis wasn’t supposed to win – the long jump at the 1996 Olympics. It remains his favorite moment of all time.
Otterstad’s painting captures Lewis, then 35, floating across the sand pit, about to join history with his fourth consecutive gold in the event. He could have chosen a myriad of moments in Lewis’ nine-gold medal Olympic career, but Lewis never saw himself as the fastest man in the world or as a multiple-relay winner. He was a long jumper.
“I painted it the way I did because the long jump is not only a long jump, but it is a high jump too,’’ Otterstad said. “You can’t tell how high from the cameras on TV because it’s a downward angle camera. But they are so far up in the air.’’
He also ghosted Lewis’ father’s face in the sky above Lewis’ head. Bill Lewis had passed away in 1987 but the close father-son relationship resonated so deeply with Otterstad that he included it.