A night of sports in the museum

Tue, 19. Nov. 2019
Hanspeter Grundisch in the Turnertenue of years gone by (Toni Siegrist)

On 9th November, the 13 museums in the Gruyère region, the Pays-d'Enhaut and the Saanenland all held a museum night on the theme of sport.

The Museum Saanen took a closer look at gymnastics, curling and skiing throughout history. Three athletes shared details from their extensive knowledge.

They used to play sport in a shirt, tie, waistcoat and pantaloons.
This is how people used to dress to play curling in the past. René Reuteler showed off his old clothing by wearing it and told the story of curling in Saanenland. For this, he’d brought along extensive footage and some old bits of kit to show off from his favourite sport. The Gstaad ice rink opened in winter 1907/08. For a long time, it was the second largest ice rink behind Davos in Switzerland. Until the 1950s, snow removal on this natural ice rink was carried out by hand. Horn sledges were used, as well as horses with sledges for large quantities of snow.

Back then, a music pavilion was built where the grandstand now stands. Three orchestras from the big spa hotels played in turn to entertain the ice skaters. Later, for reasons of cost, a gramophone and speakers were installed. The music pavilion was subsequently demolished  and the grandstand, as we know it today, was built.

Gymnastics of yesterday and today
Before today's federal state of Switzerland was founded (1848), the Swiss Federal Gymnastics Club was launched in 1832. 1848 saw the founding of the cantonal gymnastics club of Bern. The first information about a gymnastics club in Saanenland dates back to the year 1869. In 1911, the present Saanen-Gstaad gymnastics club was formed from the merger of the Gstaad and Saanen clubs. Dressed in a white Turnertenue from the past, Hanspeter Grundisch stood in front of the audience and talked about the history of gymnastics. 

Reports from the first top skier from Saanen
Bruno Kernen spoke of his career and showed some trophies and memorabilia from his past. A helmet with the Saanen coat of arms, specially designed by a painter, hark back the beginning of his career. However, the coat of arms was covered over for the Swiss ski race as it was considered an advertisement.

Bruno Kernen also told how he didn’t have the support of the national coach back then. Nevertheless, in 1983 he  came first in the downhill in Kitzbühel - the biggest triumph in his career. He presented various equipment, skis, boots, helmets, bindings that had been used over the years.

Based on AvS/Toni Siegrist
Translated by Justine Hewson

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