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Exhibition brings Wales’s Olympic and Paralympic history to life
Following the Flame, which will be at the National Library in Aberystwyth and the Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport until June 16th, provides a fascinating account of the history of Welsh athletes since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and the very first Paralympic Games in 1948 - the last time the Games were in London.
The exhibition, which has already been on display in Swansea, Bridgend, Neath, Llandudno and Holyhead and will open in Wrexham from June 27th - September 15th, is part of the Cultural Olympiad, a wider programme of cultural events held throughout Wales to mark the London Olympics.
Famous athletes, including Cardiff born swimmer and water polo player Paulo Radmilovic, who won four Olympic gold medals between 1908 and 1920; Lynn ‘the Leap’ Davies; show jumper David Broome and Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, the UK’s most successful Parlaympic athlete, as well as Wales’ more recent Olympians and Paralympians , such as Nicole Cooke, Geraint Thomas, Tom James, Simon Richardson and Dave Roberts who all won medals in Beijing, feature strongly in the exhibitions, but at each venue art work, produced by local children in response to their local heroes is equally prominent.
The exhibition also features a dramatic, specially produced film and music, which runs continuously; video interviews with over 70 athletes; photographs of Welsh Olympians and Paralympians, as well as a fine collection of Welsh sporting memorabilia including Tanni Grey-Thompson’s racing chair; Olympic torches; Olympic and Paralympic gold; silver and bronze medals; Lynn Davies’ 1964 Ewenny Pottery commemorative mug; and the bathing costume of Irene Steer Wales’ first female medallist.