Lausanne: Olympic Serenity

“L’important dans la vie ce n’est point le triomphe,

mais le combat, l’essentiel ce n’est pas d’avoir vaincu mais de s’être bien battu”.

Pierre de Coubertin

I was going down from Lausanne’s train station through the quiet streets of this city. Yellow leaves were falling, whispering to me about something important. All daytime noisy thoughts step away, leaving the room for internal serenity and peace. I came here to discover the history of the Olympic movement at its Museum.

In 2013, I was honored to run 200 meters of the Sochi 2014 Torch relay. In 2012, I was thrilled by the atmosphere of The Olympic Games in London.

Lausanne is said to be the world’s sport capital. Headquarters of more than 60 international sports organisations [including The International Olympic Committee] are located here.

Discovering The Olympic Museum in Lausanne

The Olympic museum is placed on the hill. A bronze statue of a man in front of fire greets visitors at the entrance. It is Pierre de Coubertin, a French historian and the founder of the Olympic movement. He seems to remind everybody about the Olympic values including those of peace and honest competence. I stopped here to have a look at various statues of athletes, which are place on the slopes of the hill.

The first thing inside the Museum’s building, that catches an eye, is a large wall with Olympic donators and sponsors, trustful supporters of the Olympic values. According to the Museum’s website the collections began to take shape in 1915. They continued to grow and develop over the years after. Historical papers, documents and sporting uniforms one can see in the beginning of the tour.

However, the focal points of this collection are the Olympic symbols and the torches that have been used throughout the history of the Games.

I was silently standing in front of the Sochi torch and symbol remembering the moment when I ran 200 meters between crowds of people happily watching and cheering. And then, afterwards, a short moment of lighting up thefollowing Torch bearer’s torch. These minutes are called “The torches’ kiss”.

Next comes the hall of symbols with the small creatures from all over the world. For me, of course, the most touching were the plushy bears from the Moscow and Sochi Olympics. A huge hall refers and emphasis the idea clean sport and honest competition.

Collections

The Olympic Museum receives a large number of donations. All collections are split into five groups and the museum encourages donations from all over the world. They include artefacts of the Games, the IOC and Olympic Family’s items, artworks, stamps and coins related to the sport.

  • The philatelic collection of Juan Antonio Samaranch, a former IOC President
  • The IOC’s collection.
  • The collections of IOC Presidents, composed of gifts received in connection with the Presidents’ work. These must be preserved, at least while they are in office.
  • Non-priority holdings that are not included in the collections as such.

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