Gallery: Estonian Olympic Committee’s anniversary exhibition opens in Viru Keskus shopping centre


Estonian Olympic Committee and the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum opened the photo exhibition “Evergreens” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Olympic Committee and the 60th anniversary of the museum. The exhibition displays the medals and awards won by top Estonian athletes competing in various sports in the course of their athletic careers spanning over different periods.

According to the director of the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum, Siim Randoja, inspiration for the exhibition was drawn from the photo project Perpetui Flores by the Polish photography artist Ewa Bilan-Stoch. The development of her fascinating idea undertaken with the artist’s permission allows due credit to be given to the unforgettable fruits of Estonian sports heroes’ hard work. “Over the years, Estonian athletes have won numerous awards and prizes in a variety of major competitions, which will forever remain in the hall of fame of Estonian sports history. We hope these bouquets of medals will help everyone remember these achievements and inspire young athletes in their quest to the top,” Randoja notes.

Anu Kaljurand, the coordinator of the events for the 100th anniversary of the national Olympic Committee, adds that the medals to become the exhibits were chosen by the winners themselves. “I was pleased to see all the athletes enthusiastically support our idea and take inventory of their medals: some had given theirs to the Sports and Olympic Museum, others had left their medals to their parents for safekeeping. And, for example, Aleksei Budõlin had to bring his medals to Estonia from Switzerland,” Kaljurand elaborates.

The viewers will be able to see the bouquets of medals of Olympic champions Erki Nool, Gerd Kanter, Irina Embrich and Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, Olympic medallists Aleksei Budõlin, Kelly Sildaru and Tõnu Endrekson, Paralympic champion Marge Kõrkjas, swimmer Eneli Jefimova, football player Joel Lindpere, basketball player Merike Anderson and bodybuilder Ott Kiivikas.

The athletes’ medal bouquets were captured by photographer Roman “Vanaisa” Neimann, for whom this project turned out to be a challenge of sorts. “The initial plan was to elaborate the Polish photography artist’s ideas, but then we decided that a bouquet of medals looks better in the winner’s hand. Working with these athletes was great: they walked in the studio, and it was immediately clear they had seen and experienced everything in life,” Neimann says.  

The photo exhibition will be displayed in the atrium of Viru Keskus from 29 August to 17 September. Starting on 30 September, the evergreen medals can be seen at the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum in Tartu, after which the exhibition will be traveling to a number of other locations in Estonia.