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New home for flamin’ great collection

Vice Chancellor and President of Bond University Professor Tim Brailsford and Mr Victor Hoog Antink.

A group of Olympic aficionados gathered in March to mark the official opening of the Hoog Antink Olympic Room housing a full collection of Summer Olympic torches. Guests included Olympic gold medallists and two members of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games Organising Committee.

Part of Bond University’s Sports Centre, the room is named for the family of University Council member and Olympic enthusiast Mr Victor Hoog Antink who spent more than 12 years putting the collection together. Overlooking the pool in which many Australian Olympians, including Grant Hackett (Class of 1998) and Andrew Baildon (Class of 1989) trained for the Games, the room features custom-built cabinets to house the collection of every Summer Olympic torch from 1936 to the current day.

“There’s also space for torches for all the games up to and including the Brisbane 2032 Games,” Mr Hoog Antink says.

“It’s very rare to have a full collection. Many people collect individual torches but there are very few full collections.”

He began collecting the torches in 2000, after participating in the torch relay that takes place ahead of every Games, in which community members carry the torch from its starting point in Olympia, Greece, to the host city. It was that short run through the streets of Buderim in Queensland that made Mr Hoog Antink determined to collect the full set.

“That run was amazing,” he says.

“I’m not an athlete, but I admire athleticism and I admire the Games. On the day, the crowds were immense, even in a small coastal town. The whole country was euphoric, the route was lined with cheering people and with that combination I received an unexpected adrenaline rush which made me run with even more purpose. It felt like that saying in Chariots of Fire ‘with wings on our heels’. You can really understand the advantage for hometown athletes when they get that sort of euphoric enthusiasm from the crowd. Rather than keeping the collection for our sole enjoyment, my family feels Bond University is a perfect place to display the collection so that more people can enjoy the torches. This collection, together with Bond’s strong Olympic history, will hopefully inspire future Bondies to strive for Olympic glory.”

This article appears in the current edition of Bond University's alumni magazine The Arch.

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