Lausanne: Finding the Olympic Spirit in Switzerland

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To state the obvious for those who know me (or who have been reading this blog for a while): I love the Olympics. Love, love, love them, perhaps bordering on being obsessed with them.

However, since I’m abroad for the semester, I don’t have a television of my own. This means that, in addition to not watching regular TV shows anymore (oh how I miss thee, Mindy Project), I also did not get a chance to watch the Winter Olympics. I find it hard to be too bummed about this predicament because, at the end of the day, I’m living in Europe and I cannot complain about that, but it was still strange not to get my Olympic fix.

Though it isn’t quite the same as binge-watching curling or Nordic combined, I did manage to do one Olympics-related activity this semester: visit the Olympics Museum in Lausanne, headquarters of the International Olympic Committee.

At the Olympics museum, you’ll find an overview of the history, host cities, and uniforms of the Olympics. My favorite part of the museum was the section with clothing worn by athletes during the Games – I got to see Rafa’s tennis shoes, Katarina Witt’s Carmen dress, and Torvill and Dean’s Bolero costumes. As a huge tennis and figure skating fan, these things were all Very. Big. Deals.

The museum also houses lots of interesting memorabilia, including gold medals from each Games, opening ceremonies costumes, models of the most iconic Olympic venues, and themed knick knacks from each host city. And, it’s home to one very overpriced cafeteria, which had an impressive – albeit depressingly expensive – brunch buffet spread.

All in all, I enjoyed my visit to the Olympic Museum. However, I have to confess that I was somewhat disappointed; I just expected there to be more at the museum – more memorabilia, more displays, more history. The museum is well thought-out and does have quite an interesting collection, but given the history and importance and sheer size of the Olympic games, I anticipated a museum more jam-packed with Olympic treasures. To sum it up on a totally cheesy note: I would not give the museum a gold medal, but it would sneak away with a respectable silver or bronze.

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