An Olympic museum has been set up at Tallinn Airport ©Estonian Olympic Committee

An exhibition promoting history and heritage has opened at Tallinn Airport, to mark 100 years since the Estonian Olympic Committee was founded.

The display created in association with the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum has been erected at Gate 8.

"Turning one gate at Tallinn Airport into an Olympic history display is certainly unique, nothing of a kind was attempted by museums in Estonia or abroad before on such a scale," said museum director Siim Randoja.

"We hope this project will increase the general public's awareness about important sports history values and the importance of an active lifestyle."

The exhibition includes information in both Estonian and English.

This year has been designated Be Active Year in the country, so a fitness wall, developed with 2008 Olympic discus gold medalist Gerd Kanter, has been included as part of the display.

"This year, the NOC is celebrating its 100th anniversary and it is also Be Active Year," Estonian Olympic Committee President Urmas Sõõrumaa said.

"Physical activity is one of the core aspects of health, and airport visitors will now have a nice opportunity to move around instead of sitting while they wait for their flight. 

"It is good to know we can educate millions of people passing through the airport about the history of sports in our country." 

The Estonian museum at the airport is a mixture of history and interactive displays ©Estonian Olympic Committee
The Estonian museum at the airport is a mixture of history and interactive displays ©Estonian Olympic Committee

Estonia first competed at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, when Alfred Neuland won lightweight gold in weightlifting.

Wrestler Eduard Pütsep then won gold in the Greco-Roman bantamweight at the Paris Games in 1924.

In 1928, Voldemar Vali took Greco-Roman glory in the featherweight, and freestyler Osvald Kapp also returned home with gold.

At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Kristjan Palusalu performed the remarkable feat of winning heavyweight gold in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.

Estonia did not compete again under their own flag for another 56 years.

Athletes from Estonia were obliged to represent the Soviet Union from 1952 until the 1988 Games, before returning under their own flags in 1992.

The display includes the skates worn by Ants Anton, who won 1,500 metres speed skating gold at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Olympics, and Saskia Alusalu who competed in the same sport at Pyeongchang 2018.

Also on display is a fencing mask from Tokyo 2020 when Estonia won gold in women's team épée.

Visitors can take a virtual tour of the Olympic Sports Museum at Tartu as part of the Olympic Museum's network, presented by Estonian 400m hurdles record holder and Olympian Rasmus Mägi.

The exhibition is set to remain in place until the Paris 2024 Olympics.