"Olympics of the Imagination"
For the very first time in Switzerland, children have been able to take part in the Visa drawing competition entitled “Olympics of the Imagination”. The jury convened at the Olympic Museum to name the winner. An 11-year-old Russian, living in Dombresson in the canton of Neuchâtel, will be lucky enough to go to the Olympic Winter Games in Turin, accompanied by his mother. His drawing, entitled “The Olympiads of the future”, represents amusing little yellow aliens practising all sorts of winter sports on an imaginary globe. Two days later at the Olympic Museum, in the presence of various TOROC members, a young Italian boy was picked to go to the Games in Turin.
A programme devoted to children
The “Olympics of the Imagination” is an international programme proposed by Visa for children aged nine to 13. The competition not only gives them a chance of winning a trip to the Olympic Games, but also encourages them to discover the goal of Olympism, its values, and the history of the Summer and Winter Games, while encouraging them to use their imagination. The programme was launched at the Lillehammer Games in 1994. Since then, almost a million children have taken part and, to date, 233 budding artists from 44 countries have been guests of Visa, an IOC TOP sponsor.
Meetings, a competition and perhaps a ticket for Beijing
In Turin, Ilia will meet other children from Canada, the UK, Norway, Russia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Croatia and even China. He will take part in Games activities, another competition, and, who knows, may even win another trip – this time to the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Exhibition at the Olympic Museum
The 16 drawings presented at the Olympic Museum will be on show at the Museum Restaurant. Six of them will head to Brussels in January to be exhibited at the European Parliament, in the framework of the pan-European “Olympics of the Imagination” exhibition.