The Sporting Glory of Sochi Museum was today opened in the host city of the 2014 Winter Games by a high profile delegation led by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge. Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Kozak, Sochi 2014 President and CEO, Dmitry Chernyshenko, and the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, were also in attendance at an opening ceremony attended by many other high-ranking dignitaries.
Located on the square in front of the City of Sochi Administration, the new museum is in very close proximity to the Olympic and Paralympic Flags. These flags, raised in March 2010 after the City of Sochi received them from the previous Winter Games host, Vancouver, are important symbols of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.
The museum features several exhibits; each focusing on aspects of Russia’s sporting achievements. Visitors to the museum will be able to learn about the history of Olympic Movement in Russia, the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. The museum also features exhibits about famous Olympic champions from Sochi.
The historical objects in the museum include photographs, rare documents and memorabilia. These include a watch once owned by the famous Russian tennis player Evgeny Kafelnikov, a football autographed by the entire CSKA Moscow squad, a collection of badges from the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games, a Sochi 2014 Bid Book and the pen that was used to sign the Sochi 2014 Host City Contract.
A high-profile position within the museum has been given to the innovative Olympic emblem that was first displayed during a show on Red Square in Moscow. Visitors to the institution will be able to view the costumes that Russian performers wore during the Olympic Flag Handover ceremony at Vancouver 2010. Sochi 2014 volunteers will also be able to view the uniforms worn by their colleagues that worked at the Torino Games.
At the Official Opening Ceremony, Sochi 2014 President and CEO, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said:
“Sochi is changing everyday as the city prepares to host the next Winter Games and be part of a lasting legacy for the Olympic Movement. As the new museum changes and develops over the coming years, it will become one of the element of this legacy. I am confident that after the Winter Games, this museum will become one of the country’s most loved sporting museums and will inspire Russia to new victories”.