Model of podiums, Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, podiums designed by Brian Thompson for the SOCOG Ceremonies Division, model made by Architectural Models and Design Services, c.2000.
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.
The event and theatre designer, Brian Thompson, developed the victory dais while working with the 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 model of the victory dais was made by Architectural Models and Design Services (ARCHE) for the SOCOG Ceremonies Division. Enclosed in a perspex display case, it represents Thompson's design for the gold, silver and bronze podiums that featured at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Figures of Olympic athletes appear on the podiums to create a sense of scale and the impression of a medal presentation, and a photographic backdrop and imitation grass allude to the interior of an Olympic stadium. This model is a reflection of the design process that led to the manufacture of gold, silver and bronze podiums for the Sydney 2000 Games. Moreover, it complements the three podiums that also feature in the Sydney 2000 Games Collection.
Podiums designed by Brian Thompson for the Ceremonies Division, SOCOG, Sydney c.2000
Manufactured by Architectural Models and Design Services (ARCHE) , c.2000.
Used to represent Brian Thompson's designs of the victory dais for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Made for and owned by the Olympic Coordination Authority/Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after use in the Games.