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The Unmissable Olympic Experience with Personal Stories of Great Olympians Through the Ages


The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games

  • Saturday 28 July until Sunday 12 August 2012
  • 10am until 7pm, last admission 6.15pm
  • Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Free entry

The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games is a free and unique experience telling the story of the Olympic Games from its creation in 776BC through to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Featuring personal stories of some of the iconic Olympic heroes down the ages this exhibition, bringing together sporting and cultural life, is coming to the Royal Opera House from Saturday 28 July until Sunday 12 August and is completely free. This is a specially created exhibition, curated in collaboration with The Olympic Museum, based on its incredible collection of artefacts and images and is only in London for these two weeks.

Walk into the foyer of the Royal Opera House, experience the heat and dust of Athens and discover the origins of the Ancient Olympic Games which featured athletics, combat and chariot races. Hear the cheers, get caught up in the thrill of the contest, and enjoy multimedia material and artefacts telling the story of the Olympics through the creation of the modern Olympic Games in 1896 by Pierre de Coubertin to the vast Olympic Movement we see today.

See all the Summer Olympic torches since 1936 and all the Summer Olympic medals from 1896, and imagine yourself in Pierre de Coubertin’s office with a backdrop of the lake in Lausanne as inspiration.

Personal stories of 16 Olympians including Steve Redgrave, Cathy Freeman, Kelly Holmes, Olga Korbut, Jesse Owens, Balbir Singh and Aleksandr Karelin will be featured together with some of their artefacts in the Paul Hamlyn Hall. Projections will loom above on a vast ribbon showcasing some of the many iconic moments in Olympic history and showcasing the values of the Olympic Movement.

Ruth Mackenzie, London 2012 Festival Director said: The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games will be a world-class exhibition in the world-class surroundings of the Royal Opera House. As part of the London 2012 Festival, it will offer a once-in-a-lifetime free opportunity to see extraordinary artefacts telling inspirational stories from throughout the history of the Olympic Games right in the heart of London.”

This unique exhibition, a collaboration between The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the Royal Opera House and BP, celebrates human strength and endeavour, passion, determination, hard work and achievement.  It is the only time that this experience will be on display in the UK and promises to be a highlight of the London 2012 Festival.

The Royal Opera House Shop will be transformed throughout The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games into an official London 2012 Olympic outlet, offering a range of official merchandise. 

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