Friday, 15 July 2011

Aquatic Sports Historical Display in Shanghai, China

An exhibition on the 100-year development of aquatic sports will open on July 16 in the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, the main venue for the 14th FINA World Aquatic Championships.

The exhibition is the first time a large-scale exhibition on the history of the FINA has been held at the same time when its world championships are taking place

The past century has witnessed tremendous developments in aquatic sports, such as swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming. The exhibition traces the development in an authoritative, professional and entertaining manner from the first gold medal for swimming presented in the first Olympics in Athens 1896 to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The First Olympic Gold Medal
The exhibition contains nearly 1,000 pictures of all the big names in swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, including Mark Spitz, Kristin Otto, Dawn Fraser, Aleksandr Popov, Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelps as well as Chinese gold medalists Zhou Jihong, Gao Min, Fu Mingxia, Guo Jingjing, Liu Zige and Zhuang Yong, who won China's first Olympics gold medal for swimming.

A large number of precious items will also be on display. There are more than 30 swimming suits from different periods, including women's swimsuits from the Victorian Era of the 19th century to the high-tech shark-skin swimsuits worn by Liu Zige and Phelps during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The exhibition also displays more than 40 medals donated by world-famous athletes such as Hungary's Alfred Hajos who won a gold medal in the first Olympic Games in 1896, US diving legend Gregory Louganis who was a world champion in men's 3m springboard, and US swimmer Jenny Thompson who harvested eight gold medals in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Other exhibits included goggles, water polo equipment, surfboards and timing devices from the early days, paintings and sculptures depicting swimming and diving, as well as posters and photos of different periods.

The exhibition also has a video showroom with more than 40 seats to screen a documentary “Water is Our World” produced by the exhibition organizer. The documentary captured the historical moments of China's first Olympic diving gold medalist Zhou Jihong, first Olympic swimming gold medalist Zhuang Yong, and other famous Chinese athletes, Gao Min, Fu Mingxia, Guo Jingjing and Liu Zige.

The organizing committee said the exhibition will inspire visitors with the courage and perseverance of human beings as displayed in water sports.

The exhibition will run through July 31. It will open every day from 9am to 9pm. Tickets to the Championships are required for admission.

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