The Olympic Museum traces the epic story of the Olympic Winter Games with new exhibition

To mark the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, The Olympic Museum takes a look back at the entire history of the event through the exhibition Rêver en blanc – or “dreaming in white”. The exhibition, which opened to the public on 9 December, also explores current and future challenges facing the winter editions of the Olympic Games, and the IOC’s commitment towards organising responsible, inclusive and sustainable Games.

Rever en blanc

At the heart of the exhibition are 80 rare archival photographs from the collections of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH) – some being publicly exhibited for the first time – that illustrate the early Olympic Winter Games editions from 1924 to 1968. This “Nostalgia” section looks at the history of the event through the lens of pathbreaking sports photographers like Lothar Rübelt and Erich Andres, who blended art, sport, aesthetics and technical mastery to capture immortal moments of winter sports action.

The exhibition also presents a retrospective of all the official posters of the Olympic Winter Games. Some iconic Olympic posters were designed by famous artists such as Auguste Emile Matisse, Sarah Rosenbaum and Jon-joo Ha. Many of them have become truly emblematic cultural works and are part of a powerful artistic heritage forever associated with the corresponding edition of the Games.

© Francisco Nicolas Tamagno (licence Creative Commons)

The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, being held from 4 to 20 February, will mark the first time in history that a city has played host to both the Summer (2008) and Winter editions of the Olympic Games. With more than 2,800 athletes and seven new events – women’s monobob, men’s and women’s freestyle skiing big air, and mixed-team events in short track, ski jumping, freestyle skiing aerials and snowboard cross – it promises to be an edition to remember. The exhibition presents all the key facts and figures about this edition and introduces visitors to the emblem, the mascot and the torch – and the inspiration behind each of them.

Rever en blanc exposition at the Olympic Museum © IOC/Catherine Leutenegger

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will be broadcast live at The Olympic Museum, and the public is invited to attend these live broadcasts, COVID measures permitting.

“Our primary objective with this exhibition was to trace the birth, history and evolution of the Winter Games, as we get closer to the 100-year anniversary,” says Anne Chevalley, Chief Curator of The Olympic Museum. “We have never charted the entire history of the Games in our temporary exhibition before, and this was the right occasion to review this. So, we decided to look at the development of the Olympic Winter Games, within the context of Beijing 2022 of course, but also with a wider scope, and this gave us an opportunity to cover broader topics.”

In the lead-up to the 100-year anniversary of the Olympic Winter Games in 2024, the exhibition showcases their dramatic evolution through the decades. It also addresses themes like the technical development of winter sports, athlete gear, sustainability and climate, as well as ideas and solutions to ensure the world can continue to “dream in white”. Here, the commitment of the IOC and its Organising Committees to implement lasting zero-carbon solutions and making the Olympic Games climate positive is highlighted.

© IOC

“The Olympic Games have to take these societal issues on board, and what we see in our Olympic Agenda 2020 is that we have evolved a lot,” says Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, who appears in a video in this part of the exhibition. “A major evolution is that the Games are increasingly being staged in places where those sports are organised every weekend by people who know how to do it. With Milano-Cortina, for example, we will go only to sites that regularly host competitions, World Cups and World Championships. So these will be Games that are really rooted in a local reality, so as to be as light as possible in terms of investment.

The temporary exhibition “Rêver en blanc: The Epic Story of the Olympic Winter Games” will be running at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, from 9 December 2021 to 27 February 2022.

To find out more about the programme, download the full press kit or visit the dedicated section on The Olympic Museum website.

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