Olympic House

The Olympic House message posted at its entrance was "The important thing at the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, for the essential thing in life is not so much to conquer as to fight well." The dramatic statue of the great Finnish runner, Paavo Nurmi, winner at three Olympic games, greeted visitors in front of the pavilion. It was lent to Expo by the city of Helsinki.

Although the pavilion was not meant to be a museum, there were historic documents and mementos from various Olympic games. Also on display was a large collection of stamps issued by various countries to commemorate Games of the past.

In a glass-roofed courtyard at the pavilion's center stood a sattue of two Roman gladiators, a copy made in 1650 from the long-lost original from ancient times. Above it were the multi-colored banners that represented the 26 Olympic sports.

In small cinemas two short films and slide shows depicted exciting moments of the Games during the 1896-1964 period. And on the walls were large photographs of the 24 cities which hosted the event since it began in Athens in 1896.

Copyright © Jeffrey Stanton 1997
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