An exhibition of 18 artworks by Olympic and Paralympic artists has opened at Olympic House in Lausanne ©IOC

An exhibition of work by five Olympians and a Paralympian artist has gone on display at Olympic House in Lausanne for the first time.

The 18 pieces were created as part of the Olympian Artists programme, originally launched for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

New Zealand's three time Olympic footballer Hannah Wilkinson began her Olympic career in the very first event of the London 2012 Games at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

"Being an elite athlete, sometimes the pressure can seep in, when this happens, art is my retreat where I can re-balance myself," she said.

American Gregory Burns, a double gold medallist in swimming at the 1996 Paralympics has contributed paintings to the display.

"They both require robust mental, physical and spiritual training," he said.

"They both tap into the passion and sense of awe and wonder when we arrive at an exciting place we have never been before."

The programme also included British javelin thrower Roald Bradstock who finished seventh at the Los Angeles Games and Slovakia's Slaven Dizdarevic a decathlete who placed 23rd at the Beijing 2008 Games.

Kelly Salchow, who finished fifth in quadruple sculls at both Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, specialises in graphic design.

Canadian Alpine skier Laurenne Ross finished 11th in the women’s downhill at the 2014 Sochi Games and also competed at Pyeongchang 2018.

She used photography ceramics and print making in her art to "create something bigger."

The current exhibition is set to continue until December 2023.

Since 2018, some 16 Olympians and Paralympians have taken part in the programme and the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage have combined with the International Olympic Committee's Athlete 365 network to launch their search for participants for Paris in November last year.

So far 82 Olympians and 11 Paralympians from 32 different countries have already registered their interest in participating.