25 JUNE - 31 DECEMBER 2020


An exhibition on the 100th anniversary of the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp at The Olympic Museum.

The 1920 edition has, of course, been chosen for a reason:

100 YEARS AGO: The Games in Antwerp were the first to be organised after World War I, the cancellation of the 1916 Games due to be held in Berlin, and the Spanish flu pandemic. These Games were a call for peace and unity between the nations beneath the Olympic flag, which was being flown in a stadium for the first time.

AND TODAY: The world of 1920 reminds us of our world today. Because of the coronavirus, we need to rebuild our confidence in the future. Lockdown has created a tremendous feeling of unity and solidarity, to which the Olympic Movement is contributing with its #StayStrong #StayActive #StayHealthy digital campaign, launched after the Tokyo 2020 Games were postponed until 2021. The Olympic flag is still aloft, an invitation to help build a better world through sport.

The similarities between these two periods led the Museum team to delve into the archives!

Antwerp 1920 was a turning point, as this was the first time the Olympic flag was flown in a stadium. It was also the first time that an athlete took the Olympic oath and doves were released. While the introduction of the Olympic flag was particularly significant in the context of those post-war Games, the symbolism of this flag is still as strong today. Because it is only by being “all united under the same flag” that we can work together towards the same goal: helping to build a better world through sport!


The athletes took centre stage, and their achievements were a source of inspiration. Photographs, film extracts and other documents tell the story of those whose resilience gave rise to new hope and confidence in the future.

© IOC © Getty Images

These archives resonate with the stories of today’s athletes, affected by the postponement of the Games and involved in one way or another in combatting the virus.

© Getty Images © JoyceSombroek

The exhibition also encourages visitors to share their own experience and contribute to the #StayStrong #StayActive #StayHealthy #olympicmuseum digital campaign.

© Getty Images



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