Posted February 26, 2019
(COLUMBUS)–The Ohio History Connection will open a new exhibit all about sports on March 16, 2019, when Ohio–Champion of Sports begins its 18-month run at the state history museum.
“Ohio–Champion of Sports is a next generation exhibit for the Ohio History Connection that connects visitors to our state’s national sports history in new and modern ways,” said Burt Logan, Ohio History Connection executive director. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done.”
Ohio–Champion of Sports features more than 70 stories and 35 oral histories covering more than 25 sports ranging from baseball, football and basketball to roller derby, skateboarding and e-gaming. The exhibit showcases the Ohio athletes, coaches, owners and fans at the center of the action.
The exhibit is a larger reflection of Ohio History Connection’s effort to become a different kind of history organization. Instead of telling history from their organization’s perspective, Ohio History Connection relies on first-person accounts from athletes, coaches, team owners and fans to fuel the exhibit experience.
“Our focus was to directly connect the visitor with history makers like boxer Buster Douglas, Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan and track star Stephanie Hightower,” says Logan. “By giving them the platform to share their stories in their own words, visitors can make a deeper connection to our state’s history.”
This exhibit is also highly interactive. Visitors can test their basketball skills at the Wall of Hoops, record a “victory dance,” run an obstacle course, and record their “One Minute Legends” sports story to share with family and friends. They can also contribute their own sports photos to the museum experience. Collectively, these activities allow attendees to put their personal stamp on the exhibit.
And instead of telling history chronologically, Ohio History Connection explore sports through the themes of character, adversity, innovation, identity, tradition, victory––values that relate to the human condition––to connect a broad audience to Ohio’s national sports history.
Visitors don’t need to be sports fans to connect to the story of Jesse Owens’s historic gold medal wins over Germany at the 1936 Olympics Games; or relate to Sarah Fisher’s groundbreaking role as the youngest woman to ever qualify for the Indy 500; or feel a sense of pride in the music of The Ohio State University Marching Band.
Ohio—Champion of Sports puts a spotlight on Ohio’s contributions and significance to our sports culture in a way that has never been done before.
“Ohio’s contribution to national sports history is significant,” says Logan. “From the founding of the NFL to the Cincinnati Reds, #savethecrew and Jesse Owens, it’s impossible to tell America’s sports story without Ohio.
Ohio–Champion of Sports opens Saturday March 16, 2019 at the Ohio History Center, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, Ohio. Learn more about the exhibit at ohiohistory.org/sports.
Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, local history office and managing more than 50 historic sites and museums across Ohio.