Aleksandra Mir

Capital choice

By Sport Magazine, London, July 2012

Triumph London
27 July - 14 September 2012
part of Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport
South London Gallery, UK

London has almost as many free sporting exhibitions on right now as there are official snack foods of the Olympic Games – and the big kahuna of them all opens tomorrow with 'The Olympic Journey' at the Royal Opera House. It includes images as varied as those from the early modern Games to the greatest amateur boxer, Cuba’s Teofilo Stevenson.

It’s not a place we’d normally associate with Jesse Owens’ long jump shoes, Olympic medals from 1896 and boxing gloves dating back to 1900. It is here, however, that you can stroll through the history of the Games – complete with screens showing iconic moments, plus the personal stories of Kelly Holmes, Cathy Freeman, Steve Redgrave and 13 other Olympic greats.

If you’d rather something more leftfield, however, try 'Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport' at the South London Gallery. This eclectic exhibition features an eye-catching pile of 2,529 – count ‘em – trophies, a dry-witted baseball commentary and a video focusing on the remarkably flexible pelvis that athletes display. Just try not to kick the football dog.

This unabashed crotch-watchery is the kind of analysis that is likely to be sadly lacking from Clare Balding on the Beeb this summer.