Olympic Museum Lausanne Reviews
Jul 17, 2007
If you like sports -- and especially the Olympic Games -- this is the museum for you! I went a few years ago, but since I had some extra time in Lausanne, and because I was given a free pass to the museum, I thought I'd see what has been updated since I last visited and check out the temporary exhibits.
The walk from the main road (Quai d'Ouchy) is, as always, beautiful. The Olympic Museum is built atop a hill, so there are all the gardens in between the road and the actual building. You'll definitely feel as though you had a workout before seeing all the elite athlete souvenirs inside! There are a lot of sculptures within the gardens, all having some sort of relationship to the Olympic movement, so check them out. And if you turn around to look at the lake, it's not too shabby of a view, with the lake, the Alps, and the town of Evian across the water.
The permanent exhibit has two parts. On the first floor, you get a history of the Olympic Games, both from antiquity and the modern games founded by Pierre de Coubertin. There are souvenirs from all of the Games, Summer and Winter, and information about all of the IOC's presidents. Perhaps the coolest part of this exhibit is the torch section -- with a torch from each of the Games. Getting to see them up close is really interesting -- like noticing the old Norwegian drawings within the flame part of the torch from the '94 Lillehammer Games.
The permanent exhibit on the second floor is about the sports themselves -- one side for the summer sports, the other side for the Winter Games. There are a lot of memorabilia from the athletes and events, including a bobsled (because who doesn't want to go bobsledding?), as well as information about great or surprising performances at each of the Games.
There is also a permanent exhibit on numismatics and philately that deal with the Olympic Games. There are definitely some cool stamps and coins that have been produced to commemorate the Olympics -- so take a few minutes to go in that room.
The temporary exhibit that I saw is about the minds of a champion, and is contained within two parts. The temporary exhibit, as part of the IOC's Education department, is very interactive. For the mind of a champion, the upstairs room focused on the mental preparation that an athlete goes through in order to be successful.
There is also a restaurant and cafe at the museum, as well as a gift shop where you can purchase all sorts of Olympic-related items, including reprints of past Games' materials (there was a lot of Mexico City '68 and Moscow '80 stuff when I was there). There is also a Swatch room where, if you have somehow managed to not go in any of the oodles of Swatch stores elsewhere in Switzerland, you can go to the one at the Olympic Museum, which also carries the limited edition Olympic swatches.
Part of the The Life of a PhD Student travel blog
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