Thinking of visiting the British Museum’s Olympic exhibit to see the 2012 medals? Our London blogger Sue Hillman takes us with her on a recent trip there:
London’s British museum is joining in the Olympic spirit with a great Olympic exhibit, highlighted by the 2012 Olympic medals. Open through 9 September, the exhibit also includes unique Olympic memorabilia from different eras.
Just like the Olympic stadium, the British Museum is huge so their special “Olympic Trail” exhibit leaflet is a big help in guiding you around. You’ll start off with one of the most famous of all Olympic statues, called the “Discobolus”. Often used as a symbol of the Olympic Games, this was especially true during the 1948 London games. The historic nature of the statue can be seen as the thrower is about to hurl the discus in just a single turn, not the many spins that our modern athletes go through.
The Olympic trail takes you past ancient pots with athletic figures on them. The first of these shows an image of the early Olympic games’ version of Usain Bolt, “Leonides”. The sprinter from Rhodes won all three running events in four successive games between 154BC and 152 BC – what an amazing achievement! Winning was all that mattered back then as second and third placed competitors’ names were not even recorded. Possibly more important than the gold medal back then, the winner wore a crown made of branches from a sacred olive tree in Olympia. The crown’s leaves were said to have been golden which led to the winner’s medal being gold as well.
Your final stop is the impressive exhibition of medals. Here you can see the medals from London’s past Olympic games of 1908 and 1948, but the most popular with visitors are the 2012 medals. You can learn about how they are made and try to imagine wearing one!
If you are passing near the British Museum do drop in and follow the trail – it’s free for all visitors! Open from 10.00-17.30 daily, the museum is also open late on Friday until 20.30. When the medals stop being awarded to Paralympic athletes on September 9, these medals will disappear too so don’t miss out!
(Feature image: news168.co.uk)