— Alex Savakis (@LetteringGuy) August 17, 2016
While I was drawing on my iPad I had the TV on. It was tuned to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. I heard a TV announcer quote an athlete, Mutaz Essa Barshin from Qatar. Mr. Barshim participated in the high jump. He said, “What gravity?” after he completed the event. His quote resonated with me.
I imagined the elation Mr. Barshim felt as he cleared the high jump bar. I illustrated the Olympian in action and included his quote. I posted the piece to Instagram and Twitter. Two days later it was picked up by an online magazine from Doha, Qatar, who retweeted it. Below is the response to the illustration. I learned later Mr. Barshim was the first person to bring home a silver medal for his country, Qatar.
Hidilyn Diaz was the first female to win a medal for her country, the Philippines. She took home the bronze medal for her weightlifting class. Two weeks after I posted my illustration of Ms. Diaz in action she was tagged by a friend in the comments section of my Instagram post. The athlete responded. I was thrilled by her comment.