Although the Tokyo Olympic Games may not have taken place in 2020 as planned, the build-up to the postponed Tokyo Games in 2021 is fully underway, and there’s never been a better time to start exploring Olympic history – and there’s no better place to do that than in Lausanne. Not only is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee based in the city, but Lausanne also boasts The Olympic Museum – and it’s absolutely worth a visit, even if you don’t consider yourself a sports fan. The huge permanent exhibition spans 3,000 square metres and is divided into different themes (Olympic Games, Olympic World, Olympic Spirit), explored through 1,500 artefacts from Olympic history and tons of fascinating audiovisual material.
Elsewhere, there are temporary exhibitions, such as the current installation, ‘Tokyo 2020: Sport X Manga’ (until November 21, 2021), examining Japanese pop culture, and how sport and manga have influenced each other around the country, alongside a big digital programme, all in preparation for the Tokyo Games. Many of the temporary exhibitions delve deep into the stories of iconic athletes from across the decades, looking at what it takes to be an Olympian. There’s plenty of interactive content throughout the Museum to keep things engaging and immersive (including lots of activities for children and younger visitors), and those 1,500 artefacts scattered across the venue really do help bring the stories to life. It’s also worth noting that visitors under the age of 16 get in for free.