By Alex Fees
Chesterfield, MO (KSDK) - Marty Linson got the call Monday.
"I was actually coming out of the studio at Lindenwood at the time," said Linson, who is an art instructor at both Lindenwood University and St. Louis Art Institute. "He said you just won the Art and Culture Olympic Gold Medal."
Linson's victory means the first gold medal of the 2012 Olympics in London has been decided. It goes to Linson, for artwork.
"So nice little trivia question," said Linson. "Who won the first gold medal?"
He is happy to be the answer to that question. Linson spoke to NewsChannel 5 Tuesday from Fin Art Ltd., an art studio where he works in Chesterfield.
Linson's bronze sculpture, which he titled "Omnipotent Triumph," was selected in the sculpture category from entries from 62 nations by an International Olympic Committee jury with judges from five continents. It features an Olympian crossing the finish line in his wheelchair with his arms uplifted in a triumphant victory pose.
"It's based on a Paralympics athlete," said Linson. "It's a wheelchair athlete with the legs truncated. Exuberance of victory. With the arms raised in the air, the body stretched out. Almost elongating. So very stylized. I don't have an actual face on it, because I want to show that this character could be anybody."
Linson said his motivation is inspiration.
"I've always respected this," said Linson. "A lot of these people had tragic injuries they had to overcome. Some may have been elite athletes before. Some may have been military. And then they had to overcome a tragedy."
Linson said he believes his award-winning sculpture is going to be on display at the Olympic Village in London. Then it goes back to Switzerland, where the Olympic Museum is located.
He said he and his wife have decided the $30,000 in award money will go into a scholarship fund for their daughter.
"I hope exposure happens and my schooling and my knowledge and the tutelage I have received from Harry Weber and Don Weigand comes to light. And maybe I can get more commissions out of it. Maybe I can start creating other things. That's important to me and stuff I would like to do. But I just have to take it a little bit at a time and keep making art. That's what I do; I make art."