Arts and Entertainment

Exhibit features the modern Olympic games

"Faster, Higher and Stronger: The Modern Olympic Games," an exhibit on display through Aug. 29 in the Frank and Mary J. Smeal Foundation Exhibits Hall, 104 Paterno Library, features the personal Olympic collection of Penn State alumnus Harold Wilson '51.

Wilson, a library leader, has developed a substantial Olympic games collection that includes programs, tickets, brochures, maps, pins, mascots and medals from the 1912 Stockholm through the 2006 Torino games. Among the most notable items in Wilson's collection are a relay torch used in the 1984 Los Angeles games and a plush mascot, "Amik," from the 1976 Montreal games. The exhibit also will include University Archives collection materials about Penn Staters who have competed and participated in the Olympic Games.

Related special events include a lunchtime presentation from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, by John Lucas, professor emeritus of exercise and sport science and official Olympic historian in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library .

A gallery talk by Hal Wilson is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, in 104 Paterno Library, in conjunction with First Thursday State College.

The modern Olympic games are an international, multi-sport event held every four years, alternating between summer and winter competitions. Founded by French nobleman, Pierre Fredy, Baron de Coubertin, the first modern games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece.

The games in 2008 will be held in Beijing, China, and consist of 302 events in 28 sports. The Olympic Creed states "the most important thing in the Olympic games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The most recognizable Olympic symbol is the Olympic rings: the rings represent unity of the five inhabited continents. The five colors: red, blue, green, yellow and black were chosen to represent at least one color from each national flag.

For information, contact Jackie R. Esposito at or (814) 863-3791.

Penn state's Horace Ashenfelter won a gold medal in the steeplechase in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, beating the world record holder. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated November 18, 2010