It was the most unusual sport on the Olympic program. Like the swimming obstacle course and the boat race | Westermann Group

It was the most unusual sport on the Olympic program.  Like the swimming obstacle course and the boat race |  Westermann Group

London Olympic pins 1908. United Photos / Paul Fricker

Martin Westerman, a collector of Olympic memorabilia, uses an object to tell a personal story during the Games.

You have now reached an era when people are no longer really waiting for changes. I get nervous when I see “new” in large letters on the label of my favorite strawberry jam.

Therefore, I don’t like that sports like climbing and street furniture skiing have been added to the program in Tokyo. On the other hand: if the Japanese had not invented national folklore for judo in 1964, there would be no Anton Gesinkstrat in Utrecht.

The sport has remained on the program ever since, and other sports and variants have been one-off. Like swimming in the obstacle course on the Seine in Paris in 1900 where participants had to pass under boats.

In the same year, cricket was on the schedule, with only two teams participating. The English defeated the dozens of Englishmen living in Paris.

Twenty years ago, I picked up a series of vintage sport pins. At first glance non-Olympic. Someone was on a speedboat. I looked in books and discovered that regattas were really a one time. In London in 1908, he made these pins the oldest item in my Olympic collection.

Exhibition “The Westermann Collection” until August 30 at the Haarlem Museum, Groot Heiligland 47 in Haarlem. Hours of Operation: Sun-Mon 12-5pm, Tue-Sat 11am-5pm.

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