* Samsung Global Bloggers’ comments are individual opinions and do not represent the official stance of Samsung Electronics.
Samsung Global Bloggers have been bringing you stories straight from the London. This is latest update from David Kim.
“Inspire a Generation” is London 2012’s official slogan, and the city’s dedication to inspiring the next generation of athletes was evident during the Olympic Ceremony, when seven young athletes with bright futures lit up the final torch at the Olympic Park. But, even those youngsters would not have been able to leave their mark on history if it were not for those who came before them in past Olympics. And at the British Library, you can find all about it.
The British Library is currently holding a special exhibition of Olympic memorabilia from past Games. Between July 25 and September 9, visitors can enjoy a large collection from past Olympics, with an emphasis on the 1908 and 1948 Olympics, which were held in London.
The exhibition emphasizes history and tradition. Pierre de Coubertin is prominently featured in the exhibition. Known as the father of the modern Olympic Games, he was outspoken in his support of sports in youths’ development, which eventually led to the first Olympic in 1896, held in Athens. He also founded the International Olympic Committee and became the first president.
In this exhibition, memorabilia from the 1908 and 1948 Olympics—both hosted by London— are displayed. Dominating the display are postcards and over 2500 stamps, with detailed explanations on how they came about and their history. Pictures of athletes, uniforms worn by athletes, and even medals won during those years are also featured.
Visitors can even watch a short video clip of the actual games of the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games to get a sense of the past.
Like the 1908 section, the 1948 Olympic section also focuses on stamps and postcards. In 1947, thirteen artists submitted 26 designs to be considered for the official stamp to commemorate the 1948 Olympic. All 26 designs, including four chosen by King George VI, can be seen at the library.
The library, of course, does not leave out this year’s Olympics. In the “present” section of the exhibition, stamps from various time periods leading up to the Games are shown. For instance, stamps to show support for London’s bid for the 2012 Olympic are displayed, which then lead into stamps aimed at uniting the British citizens and cheering on their athletes.
Carefully looking at the stamps and reading the details can teach a visitor the history of the Olympics and what London was going through during those time periods.
Personally, seeing uniforms and medals that were used more than 100 years ago was my favorite part of this exhibition. No avid sports fans would be disappointed by any of the displays here at the British library.
But it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid sports fan, a casual fan, or not a sports fan at all. Londoner or not, everyone should stop by the British Library to check out this special exhibition. You can learn about the history of the Olympics and how memorabilia has changed since the early 19th century. There’s a saying; you have to know the past to understand the future. Well, we have to know our history if we want to inspire the next generation.