Retired Olympian shares his venture into the world of art

A purple background with pink circles on. Text in the centre reads: Creative Loughborough Alumni

Brendan Reilly OLY is a two-time Olympic High Jumper who competed in the Barcelona and Sydney Olympic Games and has since dedicated his spare time to writing and drawing.

Brendan joined Loughborough in 1992, shortly after competing in the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona earlier that year. He graduated in 1995 with a degree in Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation Management. After graduating, Reilly returned to compete in his second Olympic Games in Sydney. Since retiring from professional sports, the alumnus has taken an interest in writing and drawing.   

His interest in writing blossomed when his daughter turned six and Brendan started exploring his skills in writing poems and short stories. The alumnus has gone on to author a few books, covering several topics including a retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with his version ‘Arthurs Christmas Carol’ following the tales of a shop owner. His other work includes books about poetry and learning resources.  

The alumnus has been drawing portraits for family members for 10 years. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Brendan used his home supplies as a creative outlet and set himself the challenge to complete a life-size portrait of his personal hero Jesse Owens. On completion, his portrait was featured in central London’s Zari Gallery as part of their ‘The Art of the Athlete' exhibition. Much of Reilly’s work focuses on the likeness of famous athletes such as Lloyd Cowan and Usain Bolt, with Reilly successfully selling some of his artwork of the latter. His next ambitious project is a five-metre Doddie Wier piece, his biggest challenge to date.   

Outside of his interest in art, Brendan is the Founder of Reilly Properties. Reilly Properties is Brendan’s and his Olympic wife Sarah Reilly’s property portfolio which they have used to rehouse over 200 homeless people in the last 15 years.  

Check out Brendan’s books on Amazon.