But over the last few months both organisations have worked closely with Parliament as an institution itself. In discussions with the Serjeant at Arms office, it became clear that Parliament wanted to be involved as part of the Cultural Olympiad, the UK-wide celebration of culture which complements the sport which is at the heart of London 2012.
The first result of this work is a fabulous exhibition in the grand historic surroundings of Westminster Hall. It explores the relationship between Parliament and the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a focus on those of 1908, 1948 and of course London 2012. It includes rare architectural models of some of the venues, film footage of Olympians and Paralympians in both the Lords and Commons, and items that they have loaned the exhibition - including a 1948 Olympic torch and 1980 Medal from Colin Moynihan and Seb Coe’s running shoes from Moscow. I have to admit it felt a little odd carrying Seb’s historic plimsolls to the Parliamentary Authorities, hastily stuffed into a padded envelope.
The exhibition is right next to the public Jubilee cafe, so when an MP needs to meet us, they can see the link between the Games and Parliament as whole, before heading off to focus on their own individual priority and a coffee. The exhibition is free and open to the public.