Podium, Olympic silver medallist, Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, moulded fibreglass, designed by Brian Thomson for the Ceremonies Division, SOCOG, Sydney, Australia, c. 2000
The event and theatre designer, Brian Thomson, developed the Sydney Olympic Games victory podiums while working with the SOCOG Ceremonies Division. His plans comprised three cylindrical podiums that interconnected to form a tiered platform. Referencing the medals themselves, the central podium was painted gold, and the two outer podiums were painted silver and bronze. Moulded in fibreglass, their facades represented the five Olympic rings and the words, 'Sydney 2000'. Each podium was 1.9 metres in diameter, with the gold podium standing at 555 millimetres, and the silver and bronze podiums standing at 325 millimetres.
This is one of the silver medal presentation podiums that served in the medal presentation ceremonies at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Made from fibreglass, its left side is moulded to accommodate the adjoining gold podium, and its upper surface is textured to provide additional grip for athletes. Along with the gold and bronze podiums, it represents one of the icons of the modern Olympic Games.
One of the greatest honours for any ancient Greek athlete was to win the Olympic crown - a wreath of olive leaves taken from a sacred tree near the Temple of Zeus. This was presented in a ceremony either after the victory itself or at the end of the sporting festival. Similar tributes, such as the presentation of woollen ribbons and palm leaves, also honoured Olympic victories.
Reflecting these ancient customs, the presentation ceremony at the modern Olympic Games pays tribute to teams and athletes that finish in first, second and third positions. Traditionally, these athletes mount a three-tiered dais to receive a medal and floral tribute.
The Ceremonies Division for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games orchestrated the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the medal presentation ceremonies for athletes. Led by Ric Birch, the Division selected a medal design and native bouquet, chose outfits for medal bearers and flower bearers, and designed the victory dais for Olympic arenas. Surprisingly, the Division operated independently from the Image Department that designed the 'kit pack' (flags, banners, signage and other decorative elements) for sports venues. This separation created a visual disparity between the gold, silver and bronze victory dais and the bold colours and vibrant patterns of the venue decorations.
This podium was designed by Brian Thomson and made by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in Sydney, c 2000.
This podium was used by silver medallists at medal presentation ceremonies at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, before being donated to the Powerhouse Museum.