A fun fact about the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: it is the only stadium worldwide which was used twice to host the Olympic Games – in 1932 and 1984. Hard to imagine in a city like Los Angeles where razing buildings seems to be a popular sport, but there you are. In this case they didn’t (and now they can’t because it has been declared a National Historic Landmark).
Of course the stadium was overhauled, renovated and spruced up for the 1984 games. Part of this process was the erection of the “Olympic Gateway”:
This statue with two nude torsos, cast after the bodies of a male and female athlete taking part in the 1984 games, is the work of the sculptor Robert Graham, who died last year. The sculpture might have led to a minor scandal before the games even started, because the Atlanta (Ga.) Committee for the Olympic Games requested from the officials of the Coliseum to cover up the figures; the reason given was that television viewers might catch a glimpse of the figures and find them indecent.
A tip of the hat to the Coliseum officials – they issued a firm refusal and that was that. No scandal and no “Wrappers for Art” either. To this day the statues are in place, uncovered and a splendid modern take on the Olympic games of old, where the Greek athletes competed in the nude.