Legendary Olympic gymnast Olga Korbut at ROH
Olympic hero to meet visitors at The Olympic Journey.
The Russian gymnast will celebrate her 40th anniversary of winning an Olympic gold by visiting the exhibition to see her story played out with archive footage and artefacts from her Olympic debut. She will be signing autographs for visitors from 10am, when the exhibition opens. Visitors should enter via the main exhibition entrance on Bow Street, and will be able to meet Olga after going round the displays.
Olga catapulted gymnastics onto the international stage when she was just 17 with a daring performance at the 1972 Munich Olympics. She won gold medals on the beam and floor, and was a member of the gold-winning gymnastics team. Four years later, she was a member of the team who won gold in Montreal, also taking home a silver medal on the beam.
Olga captured the hearts of audiences worldwide: she received a record 20,000 fan letters and caused a surge in the number of young girls to join gymnastics clubs. Her performance also influenced the style of contemporary gymnastics: the first gymnast to perform a back flip on the uneven bars, her move is now known as the Korbut Flip. She was also the first to perform a backwards somersault on the beam.
Talking about the exhibition, Olga said:
I can’t believe it is 40 years since I competed at the 1972 Games and was rewarded with so much affection from fans around the world. It’s absolutely wonderful for me to see my story included in this exhibition. I never thought I’d ever be performing at London’s Royal Opera House!
The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games features a mix of multimedia projections, archive photography and exclusive artefacts to trace the development of the Games from chariot races in Ancient Athens to the huge Olympic Games of the modern era. A unique exhibition, it includes the personal stories of 16 iconic Olympians, including five times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave. Visitors will even have the chance to have their photo taken holding the London 2012 Olympic torch.
The exhibition, which is open until Sunday 12 August, is open every day from 10am to 7pm. Tickets are not required and entry is free. Find out more about the exhibition.
The Royal Opera House Shop will also be transformed for the duration of The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games. An official London 2012 outlet, it will sell a range of Olympic merchandise.