Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Olympics

Statue at entrance to Olympic HQ, Lausanne
The Olympics are in full swing in Rio. Last year I stayed (in motorhome of course) right next door to the Olympic HQ in Lausanne, Switzerland. Set in open grounds, so people can walk around the new and very modern HQ building and also see the original rather grand house which used to be the HQ, the whole area is given over to encouraging sport of all kinds. Set by Lake Geneva, the views are stunning.

There are sports facilities all around, from an open air Olympic-sized swimming pool to archery butts, football pitches, running tracks - you name it and it's probably there! Many locals run alongside the lake and use the extensive pathways and green open spaces for their personal keep fit and sporting activites.

Some of the screens in the mock up TV studio
A short distance away is the Olympic Museum. It's one of the best museums I've ever visited and covers the history of the Olympics in Greece up to the present day. It's not a boring or dry museum as there is so much to take in, the variety is wide-ranging. 

Broadcasting the Games from the early days to these days of high technology is explained and demonstrated, with a mock up of a TV production studio, screens covering the walls and showing all events taking place.

A display of  Olympic torches lines one wall - I was especially pleased to get a close up look at the London 2012 torch, since I saw it when it came through my home town ahead of the Games 4 years ago. There's a display of costumes and clothing worn by Olympians, and includes the striking outfits worn by ice dancers Torvill and Dean in the winter Olympics in Sarajevo. It's also interesting to see how the clothing has changed over the decades as more technological fabrics come into use. And to see how the fashions have changed too!
Olympic Torches on display

Emil Zatopek statue
Each area of the museum offers something new, and most have hands-on, interative displays. You can have a go at  some of the training machines athletes use; the slalom ski trainer was very difficult and I didn't do well at that. There was too much to take in in one visit - it's a place to return to and learn more.

Outside in the grounds leading to the museum, there are striking statues of famous athletes. The statue of runner Emil Zatopek stands near the entrance, looking lifelike and full of the energy, vigour and determination of this iconic athlete.

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