The Ancient Olympic Games
Thematic Galleries (1) & (2) and Function Place,
Hong Kong Heritage Museum
03 August 2008 - 24 November 2008
The Ancient Olympic Games Exhibition, jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Trustees of the British Museum, takes us on a journey through space and time to the ancient world of Olympia, where history and legends about the ancient Olympic Games reveal the relationship between the ancient and the modern games. Presented with the support of the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, this exhibition is a major cultural event specially designed for Hong Kong citizens to complement the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the equestrian events that are to be held in Hong Kong.

The British Museum has selected more than 110 invaluable items for the exhibition, including sculptures, pottery, goldware, bronzeware, coins and medals, and has for the first time allowed the world-renowned marble sculpture The Discus Thrower to come to Hong Kong, where visitors are able to view and appreciate the beauty of this treasured masterpiece. The exhibition introduces the sporting venues of ancient Olympia, the different events held at the ancient games as well as the ceremonies honouring the winners and associated religious activities. It also traces the development of the modern Olympic Games and reviews the history of the participation of China and Hong Kong in this festival of sport.

Thanks to the generous funding of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, an education corner has been set up, while an education kit is also available and a variety of activities are being organised, all of which are designed to enhance people's understanding of the ancient Olympic Games and allow them to experience the revelry of the most significant sporting event of ancient times.


Exhibit Highlights

Marble statue of a discus thrower (Discobolus) Marble statue of a discus thrower (Discobolus)
Roman, 2nd century AD

This statue shows an athlete - naked, refined and eternally
youthful - captured in the moment before releasing the discus.

1:200 scale model showing Olympia as it would have appeared around 100 BC

1:200 scale model showing Olympia as it would have appeared around 100 BC

Black-figured Panathenaic prize-amphora Black-figured Panathenaic prize-amphora
Greek, made in Athens about 530-520 BC

Competitors in three pentathlon events: the long jump, javelin and discus.

Terracotta statuettes of African boxers
Roman, possibly made in Italy, 2nd-1st century BC

These terracotta statuettes show the older,
balding boxer staggering back from an upper cut.

Terracotta statuettes of African boxers

 Gold wreath with myrtle leaves and berries Gold wreath with myrtle leaves and berries
Etruscan, 400-300 BC

London 1908, prize medal

London 1908, prize medal

Other Past Exhibitions