An Olympic Museum had been a dream of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for many years. In 1915, Pierre de Coubertin announced his intention to set up an Olympic Museum in Lausanne to store the archives of the IOC and to become a public information center on the Olympic Movement. IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch made the dream a reality. He began his plans for an Olympic Museum in 1981, shortly after his election as IOC president, when the IOC bought a building at 18 avenue Ruchonnet in Lausanne and established a provisional museum. In 1984, the IOC acquired two plots of land in the Ouchy section of Lausanne, overlooking Lake Geneva (Lac Léman). Construction on the permanent Olympic Museum began on this land in 1988. On 23 June 1993, the Olympic Museum was inaugurated on the 99th anniversary of the creation of the IOC. The Olympic Museum is intended to be the universal depository of the written, visual, and graphic memory of the Olympic Games. Samaranch stated that “the Olympic Museum will be a global source of information on the impact of the Olympic tradition on art, culture, the economy and world peace. The focal point of the meaning of the Olympic Games and their role in modern society, the Olympic Museum will be both a witness and a center for reflection.”
The collection of the Olympic Museum features many pieces of sports equipment and clothing used by famous Olympians, as well as medals, torches, flags, collectibles, pieces of art, etc., all pertaining to the Olympic Games.