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Now open - free Olympic experience at the Royal Opera House

The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games open for two weeks only.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

30 July 2012 at 2.49pm | 53 Comments

For two weeks only, the Royal Opera House is offering visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see extraordinary Olympic artefacts from across the ages.

The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games is a free exhibition that traces Olympic history from its origins in Ancient Greece to the professional sportsmen and women of today.

From chariot racing to beach volleyball, the exhibition includes the personal stories of iconic sporting heroes, as well as a display all of the Summer Olympic torches since 1936. Visitors will even have the chance to have their photo taken with the London 2012 Olympic torch.

All of the Summer Olympic medals since 1896 will also be on display. Look at this infographic to see just how much Olympic medals have changed over the years.

Sir Steve Redgrave, five times Olympic gold medallist, is just one of several modern day athletes to be featured in the exhibition.

I hope people find the time to see some of the artefacts at the Royal Opera House including my oar and rowing suit from Sydney 2000. The exhibition is an inspirational story of Olympians down the ages. It’s a real honour to be included in this exhibition. – Steve Redgrave

Other Olympians featured in the exhibition include record-breaking Dame Kelly Holmes, who famously won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the Athens Olympics 2004, and Balbir Singh, whose outstanding performances on the hockey pitch helped to secure team gold for India in three Olympics.

The exhibition was opened on Saturday by Antoine de Navacelle, great nephew of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement.

The exhibition, held in conjunction with BP and The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, will open every day from 8am to 7pm until 12 August, with the exception of Tuesday 31 July when it will close early at 1pm due to an event in the evening. View the trailer.

Entry is free and tickets are not necessary.

This article has 53 comments

  1. Robert Slyne responded on 1 August 2012 at 11:43am Reply

    Hi - Do you need to book for the exhibition ? Are there likely to be large queues ? (appreciate that it only opened yesterday)

    • Ellen West (Head of Online Content) responded on 1 August 2012 at 12:16pm

      Hi Robert

      It isn't possible to book for the exhibition and the best time to visit is probably first thing in the morning. We seem to be having more visitors each day, so I would suggest coming along earlier rather than later in the run.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

  2. stuart responded on 1 August 2012 at 2:11pm Reply

    How much time is recommended for a visit to the Museum?

    • Ellen West (Head of Online Content) responded on 1 August 2012 at 7:29pm

      We recommend 40 minutes for a visit, but this doesn't include time spent queuing. This will vary, depending on when you visit.

  3. James Green responded on 1 August 2012 at 2:28pm Reply

    just visited the exhibition and it was not a happy experience. The first three rooms (up to the Crush Bar) we were escorted by a girl in BP gear who could not be heard above the music being played. We had to wait to get into each room and then the Floral Hall was sparsely full. So why the wait? I was also mighty disappointed in what was on show: mediocre and not v inspiring. Why was it held at such an inappropriate location?

    • Ellen West (Head of Online Content) responded on 1 August 2012 at 7:07pm

      Dear James

      Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the exhibition. I will pass on your comments.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

  4. Leila Jimena responded on 1 August 2012 at 2:58pm Reply

    Although not mentioned in your article it was reported in ai magazine that Emil Zatopek's running shoes would be on display

    we were disappointed that we could not find them - hope nobody has run off with them ?

    • Ellen West (Head of Online Content) responded on 1 August 2012 at 7:11pm

      I am sorry that this particular item had been reported incorrectly, sadly something beyond our control. But we do hope you enjoyed The Olympic Journey despite this.

  5. nina responded on 2 August 2012 at 9:21am Reply

    whats the link/webaddress for the torch pictures please?

  6. William Keeling responded on 3 August 2012 at 9:44am Reply

    Ive heard great feedback about the exhibition but what are the opening times, please? I can't find them anywhere on your site... Probably me being blind!

  7. Janet responded on 3 August 2012 at 6:28pm Reply

    I visited the exhibition this morning at about 11:30 and didn't have to queue for long . I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the games both ancient and modern. The artifacts and displays are fascinating. Visitors receive an excellent programme to accompany the exhibition and have the opportunity to have their photograph taken holding the Olympic torch. I'd highly recommend a visit to this exhibition - a great free event to celebrate the London Olympics. Well done ROH !

  8. Kirsty Dawson responded on 4 August 2012 at 9:42am Reply

    We visited this exhibition on Wednesday with our children en route to see the Fencing. It's a fascinating exhibition which really inspired the children so I just wanted to pass on our thanks to BP and the Royal Opera House for putting it together. I'm bringing my father along tomorrow!

  9. jane responded on 9 August 2012 at 9:32am Reply

    Hi,we had our photos taken at the exhibition as did our children, & after more than a week now they are still not processed & we were told they would be ready in 24 hrs - kids very disappointed! What is happening as none of the numbers are working?

    • Jamie Tetlow (Design and Development Manager) responded on 9 August 2012 at 10:22am

      Hi Jane,

      I'm very sorry you've had difficulties accessing your photos, have you tried contacting the support email address mentioned on the card? Please email support@theolympicjourneytorchphoto.com with your photo numbers, details of what time and day you had your photo taken and a brief description of what you look like and/or were wearing to help them find the pictures.

      Best wishes,

      Jamie.

  10. Jo Kendall responded on 9 August 2012 at 12:21pm Reply

    We visited the exhibition on Tuesday afternoon and cannot speak highly enough of the helpful, courteous and friendly staff. The queues were processed quickly and efficiently. We enjoyed the exhibition and the venue, and our seven-year-old son went straight for the Jesse Owens display - he is so inspired by his story and it was a jaw-dropping moment for him to see his running shoe. Very glad we came. I'm sure the torch photo issues will be solved.

  11. Rio responded on 9 August 2012 at 3:21pm Reply

    Is it possible to take a picture with the Olympic torch?

  12. JJ responded on 9 August 2012 at 5:12pm Reply

    Is photography allowed anywhere in the exhibit? Is it just for the Torch and do we have to pay for that?

    Thanks,

  13. Duane responded on 9 August 2012 at 6:59pm Reply

    how do i book tickets online so to avoid the queue?

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 10 August 2012 at 10:50am

      Hi Duane,

      I'm afraid you can't book tickets online. As there is free entry, there are no tickets available. However, the exhibition opens at 8am and so, to avoid the queues,we recommend that you visit in the morning.

      All the best,

      Lottie

  14. JJ responded on 9 August 2012 at 7:00pm Reply

    Thanks for the response. We look forward going.

  15. Susannah responded on 9 August 2012 at 9:01pm Reply

    Hi

    With regards to opening times in one of the comments you have said it opens from 10am but when I clicked on the link as above advise is says:

    "Exhibition is free and open from 8am with last entry at 6.15pm.  The museum is free but there may be a queue."

    I would like to visit the exhibition on Saturday does it open at 8am or 10 am

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 10 August 2012 at 10:43am

      Hi Susannah,

      Thanks for pointing that out. The exhibition will now be opening every day at 8am. Apologies for the confusion.

      We hope you enjoy your visit,

      All the best,

      Lottie

  16. Dina responded on 10 August 2012 at 1:50am Reply

    Hi, im planning to come this weekend with my little one. Is there going to be a special queue for fsmilies and how easy is it to go round with a pram?

    Thanks

    Dina

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 10 August 2012 at 3:47pm

      Hi Dina,

      I'm afraid there is no special queue for families. However, once inside the exhibition, there is a special holding area where you can leave prams and large bags. If it's not too busy, you will be able to walk round the exhibition with the pram.

      We hope you enjoy your visit this weekend,

      Best,

      Lottie

  17. Jen responded on 10 August 2012 at 11:33am Reply

    HI,

    I was wondering what happens to the exhibition past the 12th August? Is it going on tour? Will it open in a new location?

    Many Thanks

    • Ellen West (Head of Online Content) responded on 11 August 2012 at 4:28pm

      Hi Jen

      The artefacts will return to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, where they are usually kept. The Olympic Journey has been a very special opportunity to see them in the UK.

      Best wishes
      Ellen

  18. Michelle responded on 12 August 2012 at 10:49pm Reply

    Hello

    Our pic is still not showing, how far behind are you with these pictures please? You are telling people it will be there in 24 hrs but its been 2 days and its still saying im too quick.

    Please advise thanks.

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 13 August 2012 at 10:56am

      Hi there,

      A few people have found that it has taken longer than 24 hours for their picture to be uploaded, and have then had trouble locating their photo. We are sorry about this. If you e-mail support@theolympicjourneytorchphoto.com, the support services there will be able to help you find your photo.

      Best,

      Lottie

  19. catherine denham responded on 13 August 2012 at 10:33am Reply

    i came into visit the olympic exhibition and had a photo taken with the torch. I cannot seem to get the photo up on your screen. The nos i have put in shows a completely different person to me can you please help thanks

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 13 August 2012 at 10:55am

      Hi Catherine,

      Sorry to hear you have not been able to find your photo. If you get in touch with the support services, support@theolympicjourneytorchphoto.com, they should be able to help you find it. If you tell them what day you visited, roughly what time and a bit about what you were wearing, they will be able to send you the correct photo.

      All the best,

      Lottie

  20. Hazel Wood responded on 13 August 2012 at 3:08pm Reply

    Although I and my daughter were unable to get tickets to the ticketed events we still made our way down to London and watched the triathlon. We called at the the exhibition and could not believe it was free. It was a real joy from tracking the history of the olympics and we especially enjoyed looking at past torches and medals. It was one of the highlights of our visit to London.

  21. Anni Green responded on 13 August 2012 at 6:12pm Reply

    Hi, I loved the exhibition and thought it was a great idea and fantastic that it was free to get in. I did however notice that the 1948 London torch was not out. The 1956 Melbourne ones was put in it's place. Also in the brochure the 1948 London torch was muddled up with the 1956 Melbourne one..
    Thanks for a great day though. Anni

  22. Anthony Blacker responded on 13 August 2012 at 6:24pm Reply

    Tried to download photo. Entered the code I was given (9126), but the photo which comes up isn''t me.

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 14 August 2012 at 10:22am

      Hi Anthony,

      Sorry to hear you can't find your photo. There has been some trouble with the website and we have been in touch with them to try and clear this up. If you contact the support services (support@theolympicjourneytorchphoto.com), and provide them with details about what day you visited and what time, they should be able to help locate your photo.

      All the best,

      Lottie

  23. David Smith responded on 16 August 2012 at 4:03pm Reply

    Hi there - I'm afraid I'm another one who hasn't been able to download their photo (it comes up with a photo of a different person as experienced above). It's been a week in my case. Have just e-mailed the Support address for the second time as I received no reply the first time.

    It would be a great shame if this couldn't be sorted out as it was such a great exhibition apart from this disappointment.

    David

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 16 August 2012 at 4:10pm

      Hi David,

      Sorry for the delay in accessing your photo. I have passed on your e-mail to our contact at the support services, and they should be in touch with you soon,

      All the best,

      Lottie

  24. David Smith responded on 16 August 2012 at 9:33pm Reply

    That's great, got it now Lottie - thanks so much for your swift reply :-)

    David

  25. jane responded on 18 August 2012 at 3:48pm Reply

    hi, Left a message here more than a week ago after trying for a week to get photos & contacted the address you gave me & got no response , so, i have left another message as this is very frustrating now after 2 weeks & this problem is no nearer being resolved. Can you help ?? My numbers are 4140 & 4141 thanks

    • Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News)) responded on 20 August 2012 at 9:33am

      Hi Jane,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We've passed your message to the tech team who'll email you directly.

      Thanks,

      Chris
      Social Media Manager

  26. Diane Woodham responded on 16 September 2012 at 8:25pm Reply

    Hi, wondered if you could please help me with downloading the photos, we came to the exhibition on August 1st and it keeps telling me I'm too quick! I've emailed the support team twice but still no response. The numbers are 3851, 3852, 3853 and 3854. Fantastic exhibition, we really enjoyed it! Thanks Diane

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 17 September 2012 at 9:40am

      Hi Diana,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the exhibition. Sorry to hear you've still not been able to access your photos. I've e-mailed our contact at the support services and they should be in touch with you shortly,

      All the best,

      Lottie

  27. Diane Woodham responded on 25 September 2012 at 9:18am Reply

    Hi Lottie,

    I am still unable to access the torch photos and despite e-mailing the support team for a third time, I haven't yet had a response. Is there anything more that I can do?

    Thanks Diane

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 25 September 2012 at 9:52am

      Hi Diana,

      I'm very sorry to hear that you've still not been able to access the photos. I have been in touch with our contact at the support team and passed on your details, and so someone whould be in touch with you soon.
      I do hope you are able to access them soon,

      All the best

      L

    • Margaret Wilson responded on 27 October 2012 at 4:10pm

      Hi

      My daughter and I visited your exhibition on Saturday 11 August in the afternoon. We loved the exhibition and enjoyed having our photo taken with the torch. However, we have been unable to download the photo, it keeps saying we are too quick and so have left it.. Now having read the above comments on the website I see other people have had problems too. Our unique number is 112562. If you can help us download the photo that would be great. Thank you Margaret

    • Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer) responded on 29 October 2012 at 9:40am

      Hi Margaret,

      Sorry to hear you've been having problems downloading your photos. I've passed this on to the company and they should help you locate your photos,

      All the best,

      Lottie

  28. Diane Woodham responded on 29 September 2012 at 11:09am Reply

    Hi Lottie
    Just thought I would let you know that Zui managed to find the photos! Thank you for your help.
    Diane

  29. Ben responded on 1 November 2013 at 8:53pm Reply

    Is it still possible to access the photos from the day? I have lost my copy
    The olympicjourneytorchphoto.com site doesn't seem to be live any more . many thanks

    Ben

    • Ellen West (Head of Online Content) responded on 15 November 2013 at 9:18pm

      Dear Ben

      I'm afraid that the photos were taken and issued by The Olympic Journey rather than the Royal Opera House, so we have no access to the pictures. Sorry not to be able to help.

      Best wishes

      Ellen

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