The Olympic Games Antwerp 1920 marked the first and only time to date that Belgium has hosted the Games. Therefore, it is no surprise that the country has kept the memory of this historic occasion alive and sought to share it with every generation.
Young and old can learn about and experience Belgium’s distant and recent sporting history by visiting the Sportimonium in Hofstade. This sports and Olympic museum is dedicated to preserving and highlighting the nation’s ongoing sporting and Olympic heritage. It offers visitors a permanent exhibition that showcases unique artefacts, such as the very first Olympic torch, trophies and sports equipment from Olympic champions, as well as the Olympic oath first sworn by Belgian Olympic medal winner Victor Boin. A must visit within the museum is the Victor Boin Preservation Hall, which has approximately 30,000 collection items. This space includes an area accessible to all visitors where they can see how these artefacts are preserved.
The Sportimonium, part of the Olympic Museums Network, is a popular destination for schools, thanks to the educational experience it offers to visitors while providing a wide range of physical activities designed to engage a range of young people.
The museum is housed in a repurposed 1938 beach house, listed as a protected monument, and has won numerous awards. These include the Flemish Award for Services to Sport in 2010 and the Flemish Cultural Heritage Award for 2011-12. In addition, the Sportimonium has been recognised by UNESCO as a “best practice institution” for its practices in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.