I’ve just got back from the opening of Olympex 2012, the British Library’s exhibition dedicated to Olympic collecting. The unique collection of postage stamps, postcards, posters, and ephemera covers the Games since 1896, the Paralympics, and some of the back story through materials from the Wenlock Olympian Games. It’s great to see all of this material – most of which is in private hands – together in one place. My favourite item is the piece of worsted that was the finishing tape for the 1908 Olympic Marathon – I had seen pictures of it before, but to see the wool itself, next to the famous photographs of Dorando Pietri breaking it in his doomed race, was strangely moving.
The exhibition, which is staged in the British Library’s entrance hall, is free, and runs until the end of the Paralympics on 9 September.