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Avery Brundage
When aesthetes competed at the Olympics
When aesthetes competed at the Olympics

Lee Blair won a gold medal for the U.S. in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles without ever training in a gym, on a track or in a pool. Blair's event: watercolor painting. Although nearly forgotten, the Olympics held from 1912 through 1948 included arts competitions, with the winners receiving the same gold, silver and bronze medals as the athletes. In addition to Blair's category -- he won for a watercolor called "Rodeo" -- there were medals for oil painting, sculpture, architecture, music and literature. Blair, a Los Angeles native who died in 1993, went on to other successes after winning his medal at age 20. He worked for Disney on several films, including...

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