• The University of Oviedo opens an Olympic exhibition

    July 25, 2012

    The exhibition, which highlights the participation of Asturias in the history of modern Olympics, shows belongings of some of the most distiguished Asturian sportsmen

    The Rector of the University of Oviedo, Vicente Gotor, and the Regional Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Ana González, have opened today, Wednesday, the "Mente y cuerpo" exhibition. The University of Oviedo and its Olympic Studies Centre deal with the role developed by some important lecturers belonging to the university senate in the meeting held in Paris in 1894, which meant the begining of a new olympic era. It also takes stock of the Asturian participation in the history of the modern Olympics at the same time that highlights the most outstanding and brillant sports events in each edition.

    The Vice-Rector for University Extension and Communication, Vicente Domínguez, and the Rector's delegate for Sports and Health, Miguel del Valle, were also present in the inauguration accompanied by some of the sportsmen who have selflessly given some of their objects for the exhibition.

    Among the sportsmen's belongings that can be seen in the exhibition is Samuel Sánchez's bicycle, with which he won the Gold in Pekin in 2008; the arch that helped Alfonso Menéndez Vallín win the Gold in archery in Barcelona 92; the hockey stick and ball that María de los Ángeles Rodríguez used to win the Golden medal in hockey in Barcelona 92; the bronze medal won by the boxer Enrique Rodríguez Cal (DACAL) in Münich 72; Rocío Rios' jersey and sports shoes she wore when she finished 5th in the marathon of Atlanta 96; the gun and equipment of Eva Suárez, who competed in the modality of olimpic shooting in Seul 88 and Barcelona 92; the sports shoes of Yago Lamela, the best Spanish long jumper ever; or the Olympic Torch of M. D. Braña, a relay runner in Barcelona 92.

    The exhibition can be visited in the Cultural Centre of University Extension LAUDEO (Historic Building) from 26 July to 31 August, from Monday to Friday; in July, from 10 to 13.30 h and from 14.30 to 19.30 h, and in August from 10 to 13. The entrance is free.

    The role of the University of Oviedo in the meeting of Paris

    In 1892, in a conference held at the Sorbonne University, Pierre de Frédy, baron of Coubertin (1863-1937) announced the project for the restoration of the Olympic Games. Two years later, within the framework of the International Athletic Congress of Paris, the delegates, among which were the lecturers at the University of Oviedo Aniceto Sela, Adolfo Posada abd Adolfo Buylla, unanimously voted for the restoration of the Olympic Games, agreeing that they would be developed every four years in different cities and countries.

    In 1892 in the solemn opening ceremony of the Academic Year, Aniceto Sela, lecturer at the University of Oviedo, pointed out that men's education was a complex, multifaceted action in which several aspects, apart from the scientific one, converged. The pedagogical renewal proposed by the Asturian university was inspired in the activities and approaches of the Free Teaching Institution and achieved its best results with the creation of the Group of Oviedo, at the end of the XIX century, who created a University Extension of reference in Spain.

    This advanced spirit triggered off that the three lecturers mentioned be invited to the Congress of 1894, as appears in different letters and documents. They were interested in the pedagogical renewal in its full scope, they watched what was going on in Europe and their innovating spirit coincided with Coubertin's Pan-European Movement.