World Athletics announced the launch of a 3D virtual museum of athletics today.
Known as MOWA, the Museum of World Athletics™ is the first sports museum to be established solely in the digital world. It offers visitors an interactive journey through the history of athletics and the sport’s flagship World Athletics Championships, highlighting many of the legends of the sport.
The museum gives visitors a unique online experience, highlighting key athletics champions from each continent, and celebrating each edition of the World Athletics Championships, through realistic interactive content, including items donated by the athletes which help to tell the story of the sport.
Among the exhibits are items owned by many of the greatest athletes in history, including Paavo Nurmi, Jesse Owens, Fanny Blankers-Koen, Irena Szewinska, Carl Lewis, Marie-Jose Perec, Jan Zelezny, Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt.
World Athletes also highlighted how the museum demonstrates the universality of athletics, claiming that athletes from more than 30 countries and all six continental areas are represented. The six areas of World Athletics (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, Oceania, and South America) each have a section devoted to the history of athletics in their region as well.
World Athletics also noted that the museum includes other carefully thought out details such as the lines of an athletics track on the virtual floor to guide visitors, and the shadows of the objects, providing a convincingly immersive experience for sports and museum fans.
Speaking about the launch of MOWA, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said, “We are delighted to be the first international sport federation to bring a 3D virtual sports museum to a global audience. Through MOWA, sport and museums fans from around the world will, without the geographical limitations of a physical location, be able to discover the fascinating history of athletics, and the amazing achievements of our athletes. It is particularly exciting to launch this project at a time when the pandemic has limited the ability of fans to attend sporting events or visit museums in person.”
Coe continued, “Athletics is the most accessible and diverse sport in the world and we were keen for the museum to reflect that by making the platform accessible to everyone, no matter where you are and what device you use.”
World Athletics worked with digital sport company dcSPORT, led by Olympic gold medallist and 2004 world indoor 60m champion Jason Gardener, to create the museum.
Through the use of cutting-edge 3D technology, MOWA is designed to look and feel like a real building.
A visitor’s journey begins by entering through a large reception hall, which features the six continental displays, before moving through an ‘Origins Tunnel’ which follows athletics’ 3000-year journey from antiquity to the modern day, and arriving at the ‘World Championships Room’, which features all 17 editions of World Athletics’ flagship championships.
Visitors can roam around the museum freely and interact with more than 60 exhibits and more than 400 items of supporting content: text, photos and video.
World Athletics claims the project took six months to bring to life, and was designed with the capacity to evolve over time. World Athletics will continue to add new features and galleries regularly, beginning with an Olympic exhibition, which will open in July, before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
MOWA is hosted by the official World Athletics website and can be visited for free by clicking here.