Lonely Planet Writer

New art installation celebrates Rio Olympics with nod to Czech running champion

An interesting new installation that celebrates the life and achievements of long distance Czech runner Emil Zatopek has been unveiled in Rio de Janeiro.

The installation features pairs of mechanical running legs in military boots.
The installation features pairs of mechanical running legs in military boots. Image by David Cerny

The art installation was created by sculptor David Cerny and features numerous mechanical running legs dressed in shorts and military boots. “Emil was known to train in all conditions and even in heavy military boots to prepare him for marathons. That’s where I got the idea for this installation. The reaction has been great, everyone seems to enjoy it,” the artist told Lonely Planet News. As well as being on display in Czech House in Rio de Janeiro, the legs have been installed in different cities around the world.

Long distance runner Emil Zatopek racing in London in 1948.
Long distance runner Emil Zatopek racing in London in 1948. Image by Wiki Commons / CC BY 2.0

Emil Zatopek is a celebrated long distance runner, having won three gold medals in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki for Czechoslovakia.

David Cerny’s work has been showcased all over the world, with his bizarre and wonderful creations often getting a lot of people talking. For the last Olympic Games, Cerny created an installation of a London bus with giant red arms that did push ups.

The London Booster was created to mark the London Olympics in 2012.
The London Booster was created to mark the London Olympics in 2012. Image by David Cerny