The Olympic Museum

The Olympic Museum

much more than just about sport

The world’s only museum founded by the International Olympic Committee is in Lausanne. This is where visitors can experience the Olympic spirit and sports in various interactive exhibitions.

Faster, higher, stronger! This motto of the Olympic Games also describes the public’s emotions in Lausanne’s most visited museum. The International Olympic Committee chose to create and set up the one and only Olympic museum in the Lausanne district of Ouchy opposite Lake Geneva and the Alps. The Olympic Museum has pride of place just like the ancient city where this important movement arose in the history of mankind.

Whether you're a fan of sport competitions or not - Olympism isn't just sports! -  you will experience the same thrills as the athletes when you visit the interactive, ultramodern exhibitions. This complete leisure site is much more than a museum. You’ll experience unforgettable moments on three floors with the names “The Olympic World”, “The Olympic Games” and “The Olympic Spirit”.

Museum entrance

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“The Olympic World” is the first part of the visit. It explains the vision of its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin and will make you realise how rooted Olympism is in the history of mankind. The space dedicated to the 50 torches that have transported the Olympic flame of all Games since 1936 is on the same floor. These symbolic objects were created with great artistic skill by the countries that hosted the Games. They still seem to be imbued with the pride of those that had the honour of bearing them to their destination.
 
“The Olympic Games” on the middle floor unveils all the secrets of the competitions and their champions, especially with the “At the heart of the run”, a 180° audiovisual show. Concentration, physical effort, friendship, joy, sadness... All these emotions experienced by the athletes are filmed in close-up and presented in a fast sequence that leaves us speechless.
 
“The Olympic Spirit” on the third floor was entirely renovated at the end of 2018. It puts you in the shoes of a great athlete thanks to moving testimonies and interactive, immersive exercises. One of the highlights is the space dedicated to the medals, their symbolism encompassing both the rewards and the sacrifices. All in all, 1,500 objects, 5,000 photos and 150 audiovisual materials are exhibited to transmit the values of the Olympic Movement to all visitors.
 
Pierre de Coubertin is the founder of the modern version of the Olympic Games. He wanted people to understand that Olympism is a true philosophy of life that encompasses not only sports but also many fundamental ethical principles such as education, respect, artistic flair and social responsibility. Regardless of their age or their knowledge of the sports disciplines, the visitors of the Olympic Museum respond to these universal values.

The adjacent Olympic Park and the TOM Café are the ideal - and freely accessible - places to relax. Throughout the park, there are about 40 sculptures that were inspired by Olympism, with Lake Geneva and the Alps as a backdrop. When you climb the 97 steps of the park, you cannot but imagine all the athletes that overcame many an obstacle before stepping onto the podium. Measure yourself against them in the sports facilities offering a 100-metre athletic track that challenges you to beat the record of Usain Bolt! Thanks to a simulation with light beams, you realise the incredible speed of the Jamaican runner.

Remise des médailles au Flon - JOJ Lausanne 2020

Lausanne, city of sports

Lausanne had never hosted Olympic games before the Youth Olympic Games in 2020. So why did the International Olympic Committee (IOC) choose the Vaudois capital for its museum built in 1993? Simply because the IOC headquarters have been located in Lausanne since 1914! Pierre de Coubertin experienced Lausanne as a haven of peace, spared by the World Wars. The IOC has not left Lausanne since and appointed its host city as “Olympic Capital” in 1993, the year of the museum’s inauguration. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of its foundation, the IOC moved into a new “Olympic House” in 2019. This building is located in the district of Vidy, the same location as the former offices.

Since the arrival of the IOC in 1914, Lausanne has been welcoming new sports federations that establish their headquarters in the town. There are approximately 50 organisations. Most of them are in the House of International Sports, which was built in 2006 on the shores of Lake Geneva. The proximity of the International Olympic Committee is one of the reasons why they settle here, but Lausanne has many other assets. It offers high-quality sports facilities such as the Olympic stadium La Pontaise, but above all, the Olympic Capital boasts an exceptional natural setting. Its central location between the Alps and the Jura make it the ideal place for all types of sport throughout the year.

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