National Olympic Museum
The National Olympic Museum located at the Dashrath Rangashala has been keeping the victories, losses and all the events that comprise the sporting history of Nepal alive. The need for compilation of all the sports artifacts arose after the publication of the sports journal ‘Sports Nepal’ in 1989. On 23 June, 1995, on the occasion of the International Olympic Day, Baikuntha Manandhar, Sangita Lama, Yogesh Ranjit, Prabin Tuladhar and Narayan Gurung founded the first sports museum of Nepal, named ‘Sports Nepal Olympic Museum’. It was only in 1999, during the 8th SAF Games that the museum was finally opened to the public with special assistance from Binod Shankhar Palikhe and Rukkam Sumsher Rana who made the rooms available for opening the museum.
The collection displayed in the museum is impressive although the space provided for the museum is far from adequate. The museum has the collection of 1,96,000 photos, 76 videos and 23 audio tapes that captures the sporting history of the country and the trophies, mementos, sports gear and other memorabilia is also kept inside protective glass cases and frames. The museum has digitally recorded the entire collection in order to serve as a sports information center for old and current news and events.
The museum aims to make a Sports Telephone Directory and has been working on a website that will contain all the information regarding sporting history in Nepal. Also the tours around the museum that includes conversation with sport personalities, educating students on sports and tour of the stadium, gyms and covered halls for school and college students with a minimal fee have been arranged. The museum also has plans of opening a souvenir shop selling sports badges, stickers, posters, books, magazines and gifts.
The museum was established with the vision of documenting the regional, national and international sport materials and events. The museum has the collections of photographs of the Tokyo Asian Games in 1958 where a Nepali marathon runner Bhupendra Silwal ran barefooted and a Japanese lady splashed water on his feet. The old photos of Nepali sportsmen clad in daura suruwal serving during a game of tennis is a pleasant historical moment captured and those who are interested in the history of the sports in Nepal and also those for whom sports hold any meaning, National Olympic Museum is a must-visit place. The museum along with the photographs exhibits a huge banner overcrowded with signatures of sports persons, the blemished trophies and tattered sporting gear.
The committee has decided to construct their own building at Saatdobato beside the Tennis Complex within a year so the next time you check Dashrath Rangasala don’t be surprised if you do not find the museum here, just head towards Satdobato.