Ahead of the 2020 Olympics Games, the award-winning World Rugby Museum at Twickenham Stadium has launched a brand new exhibition titled ‘Rugby and the Olympics’, which officially opened at the museum in December. Speakers at this exclusive event included RFU CEO, Bill Sweeney, formerly CEO of the British Olympic Association, and Ben Ryan who has coached both the men’s England Sevens team and Fiji team which won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The unique exhibition showcases the leading role that Rugby Union has played in the birth of the modern Olympic movement. From Pierre de Coubertin’s formative experiences at Rugby School, the introduction to wheelchair rugby in the Paralympic games and Fiji’s first Olympic gold medal. It spans the history of rugby at the Olympics in both the XVs, Sevens, men’s and women’s game. The exhibition also looks ahead to the upcoming XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, which both England Sevens women and men’s squads qualified for this summer.
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Bill Sweeney, CEO, RFU said, “It’s fantastic to welcome this brand new ‘Rugby and the Olympics’ exhibition to the museum. Having been lucky enough to be part of the Olympics journey, I really appreciate what truly special events they are. It’s great that we are able to reflect on rugby’s involvement in the games across the years and as they continue to grow. We now look forward to the next chapter at Tokyo 2020 with our women’s and men’s Sevens teams.”
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Museum curator, Phil McGowan said, “Rugby and the Olympics’ will reveal how rugby football helped to inspire the creation of and shape the character of the modern Olympic movement.
It details Pierre de Coubertin’s time spent at Rugby School, remembers when Cornwall were asked to represent Great Britain, explains why USA are the reigning Olympic champions and how Fiji shook the world in 2016. Finally, it helps visitors ‘Discover Tomorrow’ by introducing Tokyo 2020.”
Open to the public from Friday 29th November, visitors will be able to visit the exhibition through to the end of 2020. As well as Rugby at the Olympics, guests will also be able to learn how rugby football grew from a schoolboy’s pastime to one of the world’s biggest team sports.
Star objects include the Calcutta Cup, the world’s oldest international football jersey and the 2003 Webb Ellis Cup. There is also an array of fun, interactive activities for younger fans at the Play Rugby Zone.
For more information or to book tickets head to www.worldrugbymuseum.com
World Rugby Museum Opening Times:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Sunday: 11am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Monday: Closed (open some bank holidays and during school holidays)