Olympic artist Teresa Witz is reunited with athletes at Canary Wharf exhibition

An artist based at Bow Arts Trust caught up with Olympic athletes, at an outdoor exhibition of her work in Canary Wharf, as her original paintings are auctioned off.

Three of the ten athletes painted ahead of the Games were reunited with Teresa Witz at Jubilee Park, where life-sized scanned copies of her portraits are on show until September 9.

Rower Mark Hunter, born in Forest Gate, who aged 14 started training at Poplar Blackwall and District Rowing Club, was joined by rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones, and track and field athlete Victoria Barr.

Mr Hunter, who was made an honorary graduate at University of East London, showed off his silver medal, although Ms Witz revealed he seemed the most disappointed of the three.

Ms Witz said: “It was fantastic to see them all again, they are all lovely. You feel you know them better as you perhaps do as you get so familiar with them while painting them.

“Mark seemed the most disappointed as he wanted Gold. The others didn’t win but will be going on to other competitions. For Mark it was properly the last time.”

The original portraits, which also include paintings of 400m hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton from Bow and paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir, are now being sold in a silent auction with the profits going to Paralympics GB.

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She said: “I hope some of the paintings will go to somewhere where they will be seen by a lot of young people, such as sports clubs or community centres, so they will inspire future generations.”

Thus far one portrait of swimmer Jess Sylvester has been bought by playwright Ray Cooney as a present for his wife.

Visit www.highperformanceart.org.uk for the silent auction.

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