“Riding the Olympic Wave” at The Olympic Museum

Celebrating six new sports that have made their entry into the programme of the Olympic Summer Games, the new exhibition at The Olympic Museum highlights how the Olympic Movement echoes and anticipates emerging trends. Opening on 17 March, “Riding the Olympic Wave” presents a rich cultural programme, weaving in art, music and urban culture. 

Six new Olympic sports and disciplines have recently made, or will be making, their entry into the sports programme of the Summer Games: 3X3 basketball, BMX freestyle, breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. The spectacular arrival of these new sports and disciplines is one of the biggest transformations of the Olympic programme in recent years. 

The exhibition explores how these sports have become an integral part of the Games, while a series of art installations and cultural events celebrate the lifestyles associated with those who practise them. 

IOC

“Riding the Olympic Wave” explores this evolution, addresses the challenges and opportunities they represent for the Olympic Games, and looks at how the Games are perceived by younger generations.

These themes are illustrated by a series of photos, videos, and objects collected by the International Olympic Committee’s Culture and Heritage team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. A rare “inside look” is also presented through the personal accounts and testimonies of athletes present in Tokyo.

Sky Brown competes during the Women's Skateboarding Park Finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games 2021 Getty Images

“I want to show the world skateboarding; I feel like people don’t really know how beautiful, how creative it is,” said 13-year-old Sky Brown of Great Britain. “It just is a really fun sport – also, you can do it anywhere you want. I think people really enjoy watching it.”

“Now that it’s in the Olympics, all the world is going to start watching,” said Peruvian surfer Lucca Mesinas. “I think that’s what surfing needs; we need more people to watch this sport because it’s super nice. And with this opportunity to be in the Olympics, I think more people are going to start practising this sport and watching the sport.”

Lucca MESINAS (PER). Men’s Surfing, Tokyo 2020 IOC

Several local and internationally renowned artists from these sporting cultures have been commissioned to create original art installations for the exhibition, blurring the boundaries between sport, art and culture.

“Each of the six youth-oriented sports and disciplines in the exhibition has a strong relationship with urban culture and creativity, and hence artworks form an integral part of the exhibition,” explained Anne Chevalley, Chief Curator at The Olympic Museum. “The artworks will be inaugurated at three thematic events to be held at the Museum, through the year-long programme.”



These include an original installation by artist David Warner, alias Serval; prints by Marion Pollaert and Grégoire Triau; contemporary projections and paintings depicting breaking created by Bust the Drip; urban culture videos by Alex Larson; and theatrical performances by the FARFAR company. The “pièce de résistance” will be a spectacular skateable sculpture in front of The Olympic Museum, created by internationally renowned contemporary artist Rylsee, during an Urban Culture Weekend in June.

The “Riding the Olympic Wave” temporary exhibition will run at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, from 17 March 2022 to 5 March 2023. To find out more about the programme, visit the dedicated section on the The Olympic Museum website.

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