sportsfestHey Sports Fans.  Travis back with another update about the Suncoast SportsFest, coming to Tampa later this month!  I've said it before, but if you haven't heard about it, look back and check out the post!  Here's the update -   

Al Oerter, the legendary four-time consecutive Olympic Gold Medalist in the discus, turned to those ancient Olympic ideals and his passion for art and sport to motivate others to achieve their best. He envisioned a modern-day arena that would be a home to physical, educational and artistic excellence. 

In 2005, Al Oerter was approached to present a show of his artwork at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, Florida. To create a greater impact, Oerter reached out to a group of international Olympian artists. He entitled this exhibit "Art of the Olympians" to create a fusion between the sport and art arenas while educating all ages to the ancient Olympic ideals of excellence in mind, body and spirit.

In November 2006, Art of the Olympians was showcased in exhibitions in New York City at the National Arts Club, the New York Athletic Club and the United Nations. Oerter’s vision did not stop there. With the guidance of fellow Olympian and artist, Liston Bochette and Dr. Markus Sherry, the Art of the Olympians Foundation was born.

As an indication of its significance to the Olympic tradition and movement, AOTO is proud to have received approval from the United States Olympic Committee for the use of the Olympic marks, which is protected by an Act of Congress.

The Foundation renovated the City Pier building in the Historic River Front District of Fort Myers and opened on January 29, 2010. The initial opening reception had over 700 community members in attendance. The public interest and response to the venue, the concept and the artwork on display has been extremely positive. 

The Museum’s objective is to create an internationally recognized world class museum and gallery to feature international Olympic artists and their work and to demonstrate the importance of a dedication to personal excellence to students and the public in general. The museum hosts dynamic, ever changing exhibits and frequent visits from Olympic athletes.

The Art of the Olympian’s Community Outreach program hosts lectures, demonstrations and workshops given by visiting Olympians.  The focus of this outreach is on how to dedicate one’s life to physical and mental health and moral excellence, as the Olympic creed mandates. Additionally, Art of the Olympians has implemented an educational program that offers virtual classrooms on a global scale utilizing the visiting Olympians.

And in case you needed more info about SportsFest: The 4th Annual Suncoast Sportsfest will attract nearly 4,000 young athletes and coaches to the Tampa Area for their event.  An expected 8,000-9,000 spectators will be on hand to cheer their athletes on and to enjoy the art, food and vendor offerings in the Main Expo building at the Florida State Fairgrounds.  Other venues used for the week-end competitions include: Baseball in Plant City; Basketball at USF; and Softball at the New Tampa Community Park.  More information and a complete schedule is available at   

And there you go.  Hope you are making your plans to come out and see some of the action.  And keep checking back here for more updates, as well as info on great things to do in Tampa Bay and other Tampa Bay area events.