International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach officially received the keys to the IOC from Honorary President Jacques Rogge today during a handover ceremony in the newly renovated Olympic Museum in Lausanne.
Attending the ceremony were IOC Executive Board members, representatives of the Canton of Vaud and the City of Lausanne and some 200 guests.
Accepting the keys, President Bach thanked Honorary President Rogge by saying: “Many thanks for this symbolic act of handing over the key, which is now a traditional part of IOC history. We both know very well that this handover includes the challenge of taking on the huge demands and responsibility of this office.”
He added: “You have left the Olympic Movement a solid foundation and you have every reason to be proud of your great achievement, which has benefited sport worldwide. Here, this evening, we would like to express to you our gratitude, recognition and respect.”
The handover ceremony preceded the formal inauguration of The Olympic Museum, which will officially reopen its doors to the public on 21 December after 23 months of work.
President Bach officially cut the ribbon before touring the new exhibitions. Led by the Director of the Olympic Museum, Francis Gabet, the guests were treated to an entirely revamped Museum integrating the latest technological innovations and a new museographic-themed approach.
Visitors from around the world will also soon be able to dive into the history, legacy, dreams, challenges and values that have contributed to making the Olympic Movement what it is today. They will start their experience in the Olympic Park, which has been entirely redesigned, before entering an exhibition area that has almost doubled in size to 3,000m2 with permanent exhibitions now spanning three levels.
After the visit, President Bach shared his first impressions: “The Olympic world is at the same time traditional and ultramodern. This Museum manages to convey that combination in an exciting and innovative way, and thereby reach young and old alike. If there is one place outside the Olympic Games where the Olympic spirit can be felt to the same degree, it is this entirely redesigned Museum, here.”
President Bach concluded: “Genuine Olympic moments are recorded here. They are presented in a wonderfully fresh and stirring way, so that we can all feel the fascination of this great idea. This Museum is a very special kind of Olympic adventure park, which records and conveys the uniqueness of the Games.”
The public can visit The Museum free of charge from 21 December 2013 until 23 January 2014.
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne was first inaugurated on 23 June 1993. It has welcomed more than three million visitors in just under 20 years of existence and has produced more than 200 temporary exhibitions, including some 50 exhibitions outside its walls. Its mission is to explain and share the Olympic idea beyond the celebration of the Games, and to promote and highlight Olympism’s contribution to the society of yesterday, today and tomorrow. To accomplish this, it uses the stories of all those – champions, participants, officials, creators, artists, architects and volunteers – who come together to stage, every two years, the greatest event of our time.