2016 will be an important year in Olympic history when the first Olympic Games ever held in South America take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the best ways to appreciate Olympic history is to visit the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. There is no better time than New Year’s to make a resolution to see it for yourself. The 2016 Olympic torch relay will visit the Lausanne area and the museum campus in the spring of 2016 on the way from Olympia, Greece to Brazil, making this an especially good time to plan a visit.
Since its founding in 1993, the International Olympic Museum has expanded to become a campus of presentations of the history and traditions that have made the modern Olympics the most celebrated event in the world. The main museum building is surrounded by an outdoor sculpture garden with pathways to the Olympic Studies Center, a comprehensive library of sports and Olympics publications which is open to the public. The sculpture garden displays tributes to individual sports as well as symbols of athletic ambition and the Olympic spirit. This includes a replica Olympic flame that kindles the Olympic spirit all year long.
The main museum building has a permanent collection designed to introduce the foundations of Olympic history and the key success factors that make the Olympic Games stand apart. The start is literally presented as a competition style start line. The course continues through a panorama of the ancient Olympics, which began in 776 B.C. in Olympia, Greece. The program continues with memorabilia from the launching of the modern Olympics under the inspirational leadership of Pierre de Coubertin and a chronicle of artifacts from the Olympic Games which took place in Athens, Greece in 1896 and each successive edition of the Olympic Games.
The permanent exhibition continues with a series of exhibits which show the range of Olympic sports and the guiding Olympic principles they share in common. This includes a tribute to innovation and technology and the ways that they help athletes continue to strive for new world’s records. The individual exhibits also show many ways that the story of the Olympic Games is told to audiences around the world. This an especially fitting background for the current special exhibition, called “The Olympic Games: Behind the Screen.” This view of the history of broadcasting at the modern Olympics combines archived material with a series of impressive world’s records in the field of broadcasting.
The International Olympic Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until April 30 and is open seven days a week starting May 1. It is located a short walk from the Ouchy-Olympique tram station and official Lausanne Tourist Visitor Center.