Posted on December 10, 2012

QMA’s Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum announced today the largest exhibition of its kind showing both ancient and modern Olympic Games and narrating the history of the Olympics from its birth in ancient Greece until present time.

On view from March 27, 2013 to June 30, 2013 at Alriwaq Doha exhibition space, “The Olympics – Past & Present” exhibition including “Olympia: Myth, Cult and Games” about ancient Olympia, will be sponsored by ExxonMobil and will be the first to include around 1400 original objects from QMA’s collection in addition to pieces from Greece, France, Germany, and Italy.

“The Olympics – Past & Present” exhibition will showcase original and unique objects from Olympia (Greece) - the birthplace of the Olympic Games - as well as objects from the last 48 Winter and Summer Olympic Games allowing visitors to learn about the values of Olympics and their importance in promoting peace and personal achievements. The exhibition will also highlight the earliest sports games, the participation of Qataris and women in the Olympics, and will shed light on the modern Olympic Games as a social, political, and cultural phenomenon.

About 2700 years ago, the ancient Greeks started organizing Olympic Games every four years in the sanctuary of Olympia as part of cultural-religious celebrations. Greeks from all over the ancient world attended this festival and Olympia became the most important hub not only for athletics, but also for political and intellectual exchange. The ancient Olympics lasted for about 1100 years but due to cultural and political changes they were forgotten after the 6th century CE. The modern Olympic Games were re-established in the 19th century and took place for the first time in Athens 1896. Since then, the Olympic Games have developed into the biggest sporting event in the world.

“This exhibition underlines Qatar’s commitment to become a global sports hub with an array of first-class sports facilities,” said Edward Dolman, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at Qatar Museums Authority. “It is therefore important to give the Qatari community an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Olympics, and we are delighted to be working in partnership with ExxonMobil on this exhibition in support of this effort.”

“Qatar Olympic Committee is always excited to work with Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum and support their efforts to organize world class exhibitions in Doha,” said His Excellency Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee. “We are pleased to have ExxonMobil’s support for this project. It will contribute to giving the people of Qatar the opportunity to learn more about the inspiring history of the Olympic Games.”

“Recognizing the important role both tradition and sports play in Qatar, ExxonMobil is proud to join with the Qatar Museums Authority to bring such a relevant and world-class exhibition to Doha,” said Bart Cahir (pictured), President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc.  “It is our hope that visitors find the exhibition a true reflection of the spirit of the Olympics including development and education through sport.”

“For the first time, an exhibition showcases the cultural history of the ancient and modern Olympics on such a scale, not to mention a special section on Qatar’s participation in the world-class event,” added Dr. Christian Wacker, Director of the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum. “ExxonMobil has shown its dedication to sports in Qatar in various local events and we welcome the opportunity to cooperate with such a committed partner.”

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