My Own Page in the Annals of History at the Olympic Museum in Switzerland

While the world focused on the Winter Olympics in Sochi another significant, Olympics-related, event was taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Olympic Museum opened in 1993, but was closed for refurbishment in 2012. It reopened in 2014 to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

Why am I telling you this?

In 1984 I was part of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics and worked as an interpreter for the Barcelona Olympic Committee who was in Los Angeles bidding for the 1992 Summer Olympics, and won!

Olympic Items 1984 028

This has been one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” events that I’ve had the good fortune of re-living each time the summer or winter Olympics come around.

In fact, it is an utterly priceless memory that I get to share with my friends and family every four years. However, thanks to The International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museum, I now have a chance to share my Olympic experience with you and the world for posterity, too!

Olympic Museum Letter

Letter from the Olympic Museum.

In April of 2013, I received a letter from the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland asking me if I’d be interested in participating in a new permanent exhibit they were putting together. They were working with a London-based production company who were eager to collect first-hand stories about the Olympic Volunteers who made the Los Angeles Olympics one of the most successful ones using an army of volunteers to staff the games.

After digesting the significance of this endeavor, I also contacted my dear friend and partner in this adventure (as mere 20-somethings), Annete Ancira, to ask if she wanted to be part of this historical event too.  She agreed, and I forwarded her contact information to the Olympic Museum team.

Olympics Annete Page

Photo pages from Annete Ancira’s personal photo album.


Olympic Photos Annete Page

Photo pages from Annete Ancira’s personal photo album.

Over the next several months the producers, the Olympic Museum, and I exchange quite a few emails. Considering the time difference between Europe and California, plus some language barriers and odd wording, led to some minor delays in getting cyber messages across the Atlantic. Those in charge of the Olympic Museum’s physical renovations were also working against the clock because they were trying to finish the new exhibit in time for the grand unveiling to coincide with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Nine months later, the exhibit designers finally had what they needed and both Annete and I had to give our final approval for  our “Page” in the annals of Olympic history.

Photo courtesy of Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Photo courtesy of Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland.

If you are ever in Lausanne, Switzerland and decide to visit the Olympic Museum, this is what you’ll see on the digital display. Yup. That’s me! What you see in this photo is only a very small portion of my Olympics memorabilia. Levi’s designed the bag (and the blue uniforms and shoes we are wearing in the photos above) we were issued to carry our essentials around at the sporting events. The McDonald’s sponsored notepad (given iPads didn’t exist yet) was key for all of my translations and assignments. Note my collection of pins on the bag strap. And the background photo is one I took at the Los Angeles Coliseum during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony where we were all instructed to reach under our seats, pull out a color card, and hold it up above our heads to reveal the world’s flags.

Olympic Letter Gracias

I hope to make to it to the Olympic Museum in Switzerland some day soon to see my personal contribution to the history of the Olympics. It was such an honor to be part of that moment in 1984, and I will never tire of re-living it every four years.

It is my hope that this story inspires someone to take a leap of faith and do something positive to leave a little mark in this world. I was only 23 when I decided to pursue my initial step of becoming an interpreter, which I later did (more on that in a future post). The rest, as they say, is history…



  1. This is fabulous! Now you have two great stories to tell your friends and family about each Olympics. LOVE IT!

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