Olympic madness: The double-decker bus that does push-ups

A Czech artist transforms a traditional London double-decker bus into a six-ton, push-up-performing robotic sculpture in honor of the 2012 games

Workers for the Czech artist David Cerny check the hydraulic arms of his newest sculpture, "London Boosted" which will be displayed outside of the Czech Team's Olympic headquarters in London.
(Image credit: REUTERS/Petr Josek)

The video: In celebration of the beginning of the London Olympics, famed Czech artist David Cerny fashioned an athletic tribute to the city out of a London double-decker bus. For the sculpture, titled "London Boosted," Cerny attached two huge robotic arms, an engine, and numerous wiring and suspension tools to the 1957 double-decker bus, which he bought from a previous owner in the Netherlands. (Watch the video below). The sculpture's bulging, engine-controlled arms allow it to do push-ups at a 45-degree angle while emitting recorded groans for passersby. "There is one common exercise for every sportsman in the world, and that is push-ups," Cerny tells Reuters. The installation will be featured outside the Czech Olympic headquarters in north London, exercising for the Olympic city until it runs out of steam.

The reaction: This may be the most "absurdly brilliant work of art inspired by the world's biggest sports fest," says Trevor Mogg at Digital Trends.The "striking" installation brings to life the city's iconic buses and puts them in the context of the Olympic Games. It may not look athletic, says Trace Dominguez at Discovery News, but "with those beefy arms, it could do a lot more than carry commuters." And even though Cerny claims his sculpture is ironic, since push-ups can act as both athletic training and physical punishment, says Jan Lopatka at Reuters, given Cerny's previous and more controversial body of work — he once painted a Prague monument of a Soviet war tank pink — London Boosted seems harmless by comparison. Take a look for yourself:

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Samantha Rollins

Samantha Rollins is TheWeek.com's news editor. She has previously worked for The New York Times and TIME and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.