The idea behind the Olympic Gate mainly lies in promoting sports and the Olympic movement as well as introducing the history of Estonian sport and Olympic participation to the broadest audience possible. Travelers of all ages can explore educational features and hands-on activities in Estonian or English while waiting for their flight in the themed area. The centerpieces of the display are, for example, such rare exhibits as Ants Antson’s and Saskia Alusalu’s skates, the fencing mask that witnessed its wearer win Olympic gold in Tokyo, and various other sports equipment used by Estonian star athletes in the past and present.
The public can learn about the most important biographies and stories of Estonian sports history, the general history of the Olympic Games and their venues, and our past Olympic winners and the current top athletes of Team Estonia. This year has been declared the Year of Fitness, so fun activities urge you to move and, for example, accept the fitness challenge on the Reaction Wall developed in collaboration with the Olympic medallist Gert Kanter. A virtual tour of the permanent exhibition of the Sports Museum, located in Tartu, is presented by the figure of the Estonian record holder and Olympic hurdler Rasmus Mägi, who has recorded numerous audio stories to accompany the exhibition.
The president of the NOC Urmas Sõõrumaa comments that the airport is Estonia’s gate to the wide world beyond. “This year, the NOC is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the Year of Fitness. Physical activity is one of the core aspects of health, and airport visitors will now have a nice opportunity to move around instead of sitting while they wait for their flight. It is good to know we can educate millions of people passing through the airport about the history of sports in our country,” he says.
“Turning one gate at Tallinn Airport into an Olympic history display is certainly unique; nothing of a kind was attempted by museums in Estonia or abroad before on such a scale. We hope this project will increase the general public’s awareness about important sports history values and the importance of an active lifestyle,” adds Siim Randoja, director of the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum (member of the International Olympic Museums Network).
The unique exhibition will remain at Gate 8 to entertain travelers for at least until the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.