Nike stands vigil on the Cordova Street median at Thurlow in downtown Vancouver. Daughter of the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, she comes from a distant past. Sister to Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal), she represents Victory. Endowed with speed and agility, she took her place as the divine charioteer, rewarding the victors of battle with glory and fame. Her name has endured over the centuries, along with her companions Zeus and Athena.
Nike came to Vancouver, a gift from the Greek city of Olympia in honor of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games hosted by our fair city. Designed by Pavlos Angelos Kougioumtzis, who lives and works in Athens and Delphi, there is a remarkable strength embodied in Nike’s abstract beauty and elegant lines. Bronze, four-metre-tall and placed atop a 2.5-metre base, Nike presides over a busy city intersection, a profound reminder that ancient ways are embedded in our modern societies.
We are defined by our mythologies. In turn, our mythologies keep us focused on universal themes that have been embraced and handed down through the generations of human history.