In 2019, Vladimir Potanin, a renowned Russian businessman, has put on
public dispaly one of the largest private collections of Olympic medals and
awards. The collection is his new undertaking to promote the ideals of sportsmanship, the Olympic spirit, and Games’ legacy.
Vladimir Potanin has made a great contribution to the Olympic movement. He inspired the creation of and invested in the Rosa Khutor mountain resort, a centerpiece of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Rosa Khutor has become one of the most popular all season tourist destinations, welcoming some two million people annually from Russia and other countries.
The RIOU, Russian International Olympic University, is another of Vladimir Potanin’s signature projects. Together with the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation and Russian Olympic Committee, Vladimir Potanin’s company, Interros, co-founded the University and has been the only sponsor of the educational institution which has become an international leader in training sports managers. The International Olympic Committee made the RIOU the official keeper of the legacy of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
On the five year anniversary of the Sochi Games, Vladimir Potanin’s Olympic collection will be presented for public viewing for the first time.
The intent in exhibiting Vladimir Potanin’s collection is to share the legacy and the history of the Olympic movement. The collection boasts a full range of Olympic artefacts, from the 1896 Games in Athens to the 2018 Games in PyeongChang.
As of now, the collection includes 135 gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals from the 1896 – 2014 Summer and Winter Games, 78 commemorative participation medals from the 1896 – 2016 Summer and Winter Olympic Games, 30 Olympic torches from the 1936 – 2018 Summer and Winter Olympics, 92 Olympic diplomas of winners and participants from the 1900 – 2016 Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and 39 badges of honor, medals and pins from 1936 – 1982, including 5 undated artifacts, seven trophies, statues and horns from different Games.
Auction prices for medals range from 2 to 250 thousand dollars, and the most expensive ones are medals with names, fetching over 150 thousand dollars.
Olympic torches’ prices range between 1.5 and 170 thousand dollars, depending on the rarity of the torch. For example, only 100 torches were manufactured for the 1992 Games in Albertville. They were designed by Philipp Stark, a cult figure among world’s designers.
Exhibitions, featuring different objects from the collection, will be shown at the world’s largest sports events, such as the 2nd European Games in Minsk (2019), the XXXII Summer Olympics in Tokyo (2020), the XXIV Winter Olympics in Beijing (2022), and the XXXIII Summer Olympics in Paris (2024).
Visitors will be able to see the Olympic memorabilia and learn about them, diving into history with the help of modern multimedia technologies.
A group of experts from the RIOU, headed by the University dean academician Lev Belousov, will curate the exhibitions.
Citius, Altius, Fortius! Vladimir Potanin’s Olympic collection continues to grow through the acquisition of new artifacts which carry an inspirational charge of high Olympian ideals.