I spent some time in the armour exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum on Friday night. If you're into metalwork, you will really enjoy this collection. They have some beautiful pieces on display, from intricately carved decorated breast plates worn on parade (rather than in battle) to chain mail to the intricately formed handles of various swords and rapiers.
One of the 15 "must see" iconic items in the museum is this piece of armour worn by the first Earl of Pembroke. It's said to be an extremely rare example of this type of "garniture" - you can see from the small posts on the shoulders that other pieces, such as the sleeves, are meant to be layered on top.
What does armour have to do with the Olympics, you might be asking yourself? I was amused to come across this exhibit describing the similarities between today's hockey players and knights of the Middle Ages taking part in something called "Baston Course" or "Club Course", which was a mock battle "in which knights on horseback tried to smash the parchment or leather crests on their opponents' helmets with wooden swords and clubs". It compared the iron grills on the knights' helmets to the face guards worn today and the steel gauntlets worn on their hands back then to the special gloves players wear today for protection. Both sports require(d) special skills to wield either a wooden sword or a hockey stick.