MADRID – From radio to television to virtual reality, ‘The Olympic Games: Behind the Screen’ exhibition provides a living history of how modern media conveys the Olympic values around the world. The exhibition was inaugurated at a special event held Tuesday, 13 November at its new, permanent home at the headquarters of Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and the Olympic Channel in Madrid, Spain.
IOC Vice President Juan Antonio Samaranch was joined by Alejandro Blanco, President of the Spanish Olympic Committee; Jose Perurena, IOC Member and President of the International Canoe Federation and The World Games; Marisol Casado, IOC Member and President of the International Triathlon Union; Antonio Espinos, President of the World Karate Federation; Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage; Olympic broadcasting pioneer Manolo Romero, and Yiannis Exarchos, CEO of OBS and Executive Director of the Olympic Channel to officially open the exhibition.
“The Olympic Games: Behind the Screen” is an exploration of the history of broadcasting the Games and the evolution of broadcasting technologies on radio and television, as well as looking at how they will be experienced in the future. Using innovative interactive devices, the exhibition provides an unrivalled adventure at the point where human and technical performance meet.
Through the exhibition, visitors will experience how the sounds and images generated by the Olympic Games help shape and deepen the collective memory of the Olympic Movement, therefore constituting an important archive, which belongs to every individual who has been moved by an athlete, a story or a moment of the Games.
“With ‘The Olympic Games: Behind the Screen’ exhibition, we are opening the doors to the community, to shine a light on the past, present and future of Olympic Broadcasting,” said Samaranch. “We hope that this legacy may inspire future generations of broadcasters, sports enthusiasts and Olympic Family members, as well inform local and international visitors alike of the work of OBS and the Olympic Channel and the important role that Spain plays in bringing the Games to the world.”
Starting in 2019, the exhibition will be open to local schools, community groups and sports organisations as well as international visitors on an appointment basis in efforts to inform, educate and promote the Olympic Values all year round.
“With OBS and the Olympic Channel both located in Madrid, Spain is the epicentre of Olympic broadcasting,” said Blanco. “With this commitment, it is very fitting for ‘The Olympic Games: Behind the Screen’ to have a permanent presence here allowing for those in Spain, as well as around the world, to learn about the Olympic Movement through this exhibition.”
Following its original run as a temporary exhibit at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, OBS and the Olympic Channel felt that such a notable collection of equipment, images and information deserved a permanent home.
“In the 60’s and 70’s the Olympic Games reach was for sure backed by the development of television, and now OBS is accompanying all innovations and there are a lot,” said Gabet. “Through this exhibition we tried not only to tell that story, but also to pay tribute and maybe help to understand a bit better the fantastic work of the thousands of people dedicated to bringing to two-thirds of the world’s population the best of the images of the Games.”
OBS is the official host broadcaster for the Olympic Games, while the year-round Olympic Channel global media platform launched in August of 2016. Both are divisions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and are headquartered in Madrid, Spain.