Women’s Wrestling Super 8

14 January - 28 June 2015

The exhibition (Galerie level 2) is centred on the portraits of eight ambassadors for women’s wrestling, to tell the story of this little known and sometimes maligned discipline:


Saori Yoshida (JPN): Three-time Olympic champion, 55kg, 1.56m

Natalia Vorobieva (RUS): Olympic champion, 72kg, 1.76m

Carol Hunyh (CAN): Olympic champion, 48kg, 1.55m

Helen Maroulis (USA): World Championship silver medallist, 55kg, 1.61m

Sofia Mattsson (SWE): World and European Champion, 53kg, 1.64m

Isabelle Sambou (SEN): African champion, 48kg, 1.53m

Edit Dozsa (ITA): Olympic referee

Fannye Cheverry (COL): President of the Colombian Wrestling Federation

Some key dates in history

330 BC: The first traces of women’s wrestling appear on bronze Etruscan statuettes, which show men wrestling with women.

1987: The first World Championships are held in Lørenskog, Norway.

2000: Natalia Yarigina (RUS) becomes the first woman to join the Board of UWW (United World Wrestling, the world wrestling federation)

2004: At the Olympic Games in Athens, women’s wrestling makes its first appearance on the Olympic programme, and Irina Merleni (UKR) wins the first-ever women’s wrestling Olympic gold medal.

2016: At the Olympic Games in Rio, in freestyle wrestling, the number of weight categories for women will be the same as for men.

Empowerment of women in sport as well

With this exhibition, The Olympic Museum and United World Wrestling (UWW) are drawing attention to the women who practise wrestling, and are thereby contributing to the IOC’s Women and Sport programme.
The message is that it is possible to be a woman and to practise sports wrestling. Doing so can reveal talents, fulfil dreams or even start careers.
Through this promotion, the Olympic Movement is doing its bit to support International Women’s Day on 8 March.
After Lausanne, the exhibition will travel to various countries around the world, starting with the USA.

Traditional and educational scenography

A blue and purple setting, as these are the colours of United World Wrestling. Totems with texts, key objects, films and interactive games to inform simply and clearly. At the centre, a huge yellow, red and blue wrestling mat, with some training dummies for any visitors who want to try out a few wrestling holds for themselves!

7 and 8 March: Special weekend Women & Sport

The Olympic Museum is celebrating International Women’s Day  in its own special way, by bringing together a boxer, a wrestler, a mountaineer, an extreme athlete … and even female musicians!
All of them are women who have made their name in supposedly male-dominated areas.
This weekend is a rare opportunity for visitors to meet them, learn about their passions and understand their choices.

The programme includes a round table, film showings, introductions to wrestling and boxing … and a concert

On Saturday 7 March 2015 from 2.30 to 10 p.m.

2.30-3.15 p.m. (Galerie)
Introduction to freestyle wrestling with Marianna Kolic (France)  and Vania Guerreiro (Portugal) as well as Swiss wrestling with Diana Fankhauser and Romina Bichsel.

4-5.30 p.m. (Auditorium) 
A chance to meet…
Sophie Lavaud (mountaineer),
Mary Kom (boxer)
Mariana Kolic (wrestler)
Géraldine Fasnacht (extreme athlete)
Eléonore Lépinard (sociologist)
Moderator: Laurence Bolomey
And autograph session!
6.15-7.15 p.m. (Auditorium)
Showing of the film On a marché sur l’Everest by François Damilano (2014), in the presence of Sophie Lavaud and the director. 
8.45-10 p.m. (Auditorium)
A chance to meet Géraldine Fasnacht showing of the rushes from the Matterhorn wingsuit jump.

TOM Cafe open until 9 p.m.

On Sunday 8 March 2015 from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

11 a.m. & 3 p.m.(Galerie)
Introduction to freestyle wrestling with Marianna Kolic (France)  and Vania Guerreiro (Portugal).

1.30-2.30 p.m. (Art Lounge)
Boxing match between Mary Kom, flyweight bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and several times world champion, and her sparring partner. Introduction to boxing with Anaïs Kistler, Swiss champion.
Autograph session!
2.30-4.30 p.m. (Auditorium)
Showing of the biopic Mary Kom by Omung Kumar (2014, original with French subtitles)

4.45-5.15 p.m. (Auditorium)
Concert by Salut Salon, an all-female quartet from Hamburg, composed of two violinists, a cellist and a pianist.
Are you ready for a musical performance that is both highly athletic and very feminine?