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23 Jun 2003
IOC News

The Olympic Museum Lausanne celebrates its tenth anniversary!

Ten years ago to the day, Juan Antonio Samaranch, the then IOC President, inaugurated the Olympic Museum with Katarina Witt, who lit the Olympic fire in the cauldron in the park, in front of a considerable crowd of people.

On Monday 23 June (at 11.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.), in order to commemorate the event, the Museum is putting the spotlight on young people. Two forums and autograph sessions, hosted by TSR (Swiss French Television), organised in the hall of the Museum with:

- Sylviane Berthod, 7th place in the downhill at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002

- Stanislas Wawrinka, winner of the French International Junior Championships, a fortnight ago at Roland Garros

- Neel Jani, the young prodigy of Formula 1, recently taken on by Peter Sauber.



Baron de Coubertin announced in Lausanne (where the IOC had just been established) his intention to create a Museum for the IOC archives, as well as a public information centre on the Olympic Movement. The very first Museum, which was not open all the time, found a home in a room in the Montbenon Casino.


The Museum moved into the Villa Mon-Repos, in the centre of Lausanne, which would also house the IOC headquarters until 1969. At first, the Museum only had one exhibition room, before expanding over the years and regularly adding to its collections.

23 June 1982

Setting up of the "provisional" Museum at 18 avenue Ruchonnet, also in the centre of Lausanne, which welcomed up to 10,000 visitors per year. The provisional Museum's main mission was to add to its collections.

9 December 1988

President Samaranch kicked off the building works of the current Museum, with the words "I want people to say that this is the most beautiful museum in the world". The event represented the culmination of a long process of negotiations to find the ideal spot to build the Museum.

23 June 1993

Inauguration of the Museum, on the same day as the IOC celebrated its 99th anniversary and following on from the 100th IOC Session, whose sole theme was "Olympism and Culture". The whole of the city of Lausanne was associated with the event and numerous political, cultural and sporting personalities came together in Ouchy.


The Council of Europe awarded the Olympic Museum the European Museum of the Year prize, over 45 institutions in some 15 countries.

23 June 2001

The Museum had a facelift with the "Museum 2000" concept and its new permanent exhibitions with their state-of-the-art computer and audiovisual technology, responding better to its visitors' expectations, with extraordinary audiovisual shows.

The inauguration was sumptuous and on the same day, President Samaranch awarded the Olympic Order to ten champions, including Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia), Pirmin Zurbriggen (Switzerland), Cathy Freeman (Australia), David Douillet (France), and Kazuyoshi Funaki (Japan).

20 July 2001

Elected a few days previously, at the IOC Session in Moscow, President Jacques Rogge received the keys of the Museum from Judge Kéba Mbaye, First Vice-President of the IOC, in the presence of numerous personalities from the Confederation, the State of Vaud and the City of Lausanne, IOC members and representatives of international sports federations.

22-23 June 2003

The Olympic Museum officially celebrated its 10th anniversary. Open doors on Sunday 22 June for visitors of all ages, and special events for young people on Monday 23. A real festival for the people.

End of Summer 2003

We welcome the two millionth visitor, "crowning" this 10th anniversary year. In just a few years, the Olympic Museum has become the second most visited museum in Switzerland!

The Olympic Museum Lausanne
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